The summer vacation season begins Memorial Day weekend, May 22–25, 2015. As the crush of frenzied people depart to camp in northern Wisconsin, slip into the quiet Baraboo Bluffs for a peaceful, secluded weekend at Wawanissee Point.
Savor Trudy’s fantastic breakfast from the Inn’s main deck freshly decorated with summer blooms and humming birds. Daydream as you linger in front of that mesmerizing view.
Watch for the neotropical migrants like the scarlet tanager and indigo bunting, just starting to nest in the protected, contiguous forest canopy. Or go looking for them and warblers on our trails and at the adjacent Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area.
Planet and Stargazing May 23
The ringed planet Saturn will be at its closest approach to earth (at opposition) and the sun will fully illuminate its face on May 23. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope (5”–8”) will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons. Learn more here.
Plus Venus will be especially brilliant and visible until around midnight, more here.
Watch the sun set and stargaze as you snuggle by the campfire in the privacy of our secluded prairie terrace. We can provide a s’more’s kit!
Big Tent Performances
Enjoy the first Big Top performances of Circus World Museum’s (CWM) 56th summer season, again under the 85-foot diameter European-style tent ,unveiled in 2014.
The big tent means close-up gripping aerialist performances, plus electrifying hula hoop artistry, jaw-dropping contortionists, clever canines, liberty camels, and circus animals and clowns daily at 11:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. beginning May 22, 2015.
Circus World’s magical entertainer, Tristan Crist, stars in a brand new Theatre of Illusion show, celebrating his 10th season. Take a guided tour of the world’s largest circus wagon collection, browse the original Ringling Bros. Circus buildings, and see demonstrations and fascinating new exhibits.
The lively entertainment at this engaging history museum occurs daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through June 14, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. June 15–Aug. 30, 2015.
The grounds are the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters, one of Wisconsin Historical Society’s 10 historic sites and a National Historic Landmark. Besides the authentic wagon collection you’ll find advertising posters, memorabilia from past Big Top performances and more.
Circus World is open when it’s raining since many activities are under tents or in buildings.
Learn more at www.circusworldbaraboo.org.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is 10 minutes south of Circus World Museum.
Book a guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.
Memorial Day Weekend Events
May 16–June 7: Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, open for weekend rides (daily season begins June 8). Enjoy a 50-minute ride through the Baraboo Bluffs and browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays. Train rides commence at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily regardless of weather. Museum grounds open 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Learn more at www.mcrwy.com.
May 23: Aldo Leopold Guided Shack Tours, Baraboo, Saturdays May 23–Oct. 31, 2015, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., unless a special event is scheduled. Guided tours are the only way to see the inside of the Leopold Shack. Self-guided tours, and hiking and birding the new upland interpretive trail system, are available any time the Leopold Center is open. Pick up a trail map before departing. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.
May 23: Riverside & Great Northern Railway, N115 County Road N, Wisconsin Dells, switches to its daily season, open at 9:30 a.m. with eight train rides on the hour beginning at 10:00 a.m., May 23–Sept. 7, weather permitting. A 15-inch gauge railroad with three miles of track through canyons, rock formations and wooded areas beside the Wisconsin River, and a living museum of preserved historic engines (steam and diesel) and passenger cars built by the Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works from 1950–1980. Hand-operated turntable turns the locomotive twice during the ride. Exhibits and learning center, Museum Store and picnic area. Learn more at www.dellstrain.com.
May 23: REO Speedwagon at Ho-Chunk Gaming, between Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells, S3214 County Rd. BD, Baraboo, upper ballroom, 8:00 p.m. Live show, general admission only. Tickets $50.00 in advance purchased here. Each ticket includes $15.00 of free play. Learn more at www.ho-chunkgaming.com/wisconsindells/ or call 1-800-746-2486.
May 24: The Sunday Market on the historic downtown square in Baraboo, Wis., begins. Stroll every Sunday through Oct. 18, 2015, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Antiques, vintage collectibles, art and crafts. For more information stop at the Raven House on the Square, e-mail [email protected] and visit www.downtownbaraboo.com.
May 25: Al. Ringling Theatre Guided Tours With Organ Demonstration begin daily at 1:30 p.m., 136 Fourth Ave., downtown Baraboo, Memorial Day through Labor Day. One-hour tour of American’s prettiest playhouse built in 1915 by the eldest of the five Ringling brothers offers a unique mix of entertainment and education, including the lobby, auditorium, a rare peek backstage and a demonstration of the historic and mighty Barton organ. Learn more at www.alringling.com.
Treat mom to a spring retreat in Baraboo, Wis., for Mother’s Day weekend May 8–10, 2015. The season of renewal will be peaking, a perfect time to hike. Enjoy leaves unfurling, woodland ephemerals brightening the forest floor, tulips blooming, frogs singing, wildlife babies testing their new legs and birds returning.
The second week of May is when the most colorful migrating birds arrive in the bluffs: indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles and humming birds, and warblers in increasing numbers.
Create and print a custom Wawanissee Point gift certificate here.
More Gift Ideas
We can arrange for flowers, chocolates, a cake or other surprises in Mom’s guest room. See our Specials & Packages page for ideas. Let Mom pamper herself with a gift certificate for Baraboo’s day spa 10 minutes from the Inn, Spa Serenity. Our guests receive a discount.
At the Inn mom can enjoy peace, privacy and:
- strolling our private and blooming wooded and prairie trails, and garden paths
- soaking in sun and birdwatching from the southern prairie terrace
- relaxing in the hammock before the 36-mile view
- evening wine and cheese before dinner out
- Trudy’s gourmet breakfast served overlooking the valley
Many area attractions will be open for the season by May 8: Aldo Leopold Center, International Crane Foundation, Circus World Museum’s spring performances, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, and the H. H. Bennett Studio and Riverside & Great Northern Railway in Wisconsin Dells.
Farmers’ markets in Baraboo and Sauk Prairie will have bedding plants, new-crop maple syrup, early produce and more.
Reserve Mom’s favorite guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.
Events Around Baraboo Mother’s Day Weekend
May 7: Paula Poundstone at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. A high school dropout who traveled the country by bus and has become one of the great humorists of our time. Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR’s weekly quiz show, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and tours the country performing standup comedy that unlike her peers is keenly spontaneous with her audience, creating a customized experience. Enjoy of evening of intelligent wit and comedy that will keep you laughing. Tickets $30.00 at www.alringling.com or by calling 608-356-8864.
May 8–10: Mothers Play Free at Fairfield Hills Golf Course–Range, S3308 Fox Hill Rd., Baraboo, with one paying adult. A nine-hole par-30 course playable in less than two hours and the area’s largest and longest practice range with 34 stations and a practice putting green. For details call 608-356-5524 or visit www.fairfieldhillsgolfcourse.com.
May 8: Rising Stars at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Sauk Prairie High School choir director brings his brightest students for an unforgettable house concert, and he may share a special performance, too. No advance ticket sales, donations are appreciated to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more at www.riverartsinc.org.
May 9: Aldo Leopold Foundation Woodland School Class: Backyard Ecology, E13701 Levee Rd. (Rustic Road 49), Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. For homeowners and nature lovers, learn how to design and plant native communities in your backyard thereby promoting Leopold’s land ethic vision. Create plant lists, designs for nature and humans, planting guidelines and care programs for backyards in this region. Explore ecological principles and applied biology in the woods and prairies surrounding the Leopold Center. Instructor: Jack Phillips, principal of New Tree School, arboriculture consultant, naturalist and nature writer. Registration is required, seating limited to 15, $65.00 nonmembers, $55.00 members. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.
May 9: Annual Faire On The Square in downtown Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., more than 150 arts and crafts vendors, farmers’ market, Eat Street food court, live music and more. Visit www.downtownbaraboo.com for details.
May 9: Wood Carving Demonstrations at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. At the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. The Capitol Area Carvers of Wisconsin will offer short demonstrations on different styles and types of carving and will answer questions. Drop in any time. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
May 9–June 7: Mid-Continent Railway Museum opens for the season, North Freedom, with weekend rides only until June 8 when its daily season begins. Enjoy a 50-minute ride through the Baraboo Bluffs and browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays. Train rides commence at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily regardless of weather. Museum grounds open 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Learn more at www.mcrwy.com.
May 9–10: Mother’s Day Brunch And Dinner Trains at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom. May 9: coach and first-class service at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., coach only at 3:00 p.m., and dinner train at 5:30 p.m. May 10: brunch service at 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. includes a four-course meal plus dessert and choice of drinks, and coach service at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. First-class service includes four courses of hors d’oeuvres and your choice of drinks from the dining car bars. Cuisine provided by Elite Catering of Baraboo. Museum grounds open 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Reservations and details at www.mcrwy.com.
May 10: Mother’s Day at International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., 15 minutes north of the Inn. Moms receive free admission. Learn about cranes and the organization’s global conservation programs on a guided tour with a naturalist at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. weekends only in April, May, September and October, daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. See the world’s 15 crane species that reside there; hike and bird through the Foundation’s restored prairie, wetland, and oak savanna ecosystems; and browse the gift shop. For more information call 608-356-9462 ext. 121 and visit www.savingcranes.org.
May 10: A Salute To Mothers at Wollersheim Winery 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Winery open for tours and tasting plus mothers receive a complimentary tour when accompanied by their family. Learn more at www.wollersheim.com.
May 10: Seth Peterson Cottage Tour at Mirror Lake State Park, E10320 Fern Dell Road, between Baraboo and Lake Delton, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Enjoy a 20-minute guided tour and learn the history of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cottage in the woods on a cliff overlooking the Lake. Tickets $4.00 support upkeep and park support. The Cottage is at E9982 Fern Dell Road, west of the Park office, marked by a red gate. Learn more at sethpeterson.org. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
The end of April is a frenzy of spring emergences, flora and fauna. A fun time to hike the Baraboo Hills. And there are many activities the weekend of April 24–26, 2015.
Hiking our 42 acres of woods and prairie or the miles of trails within five minutes will give you glimpses of the first blooms. Look for marsh marigolds, prairie smoke and pasque flowers. In the forest, often before the trees have set their leaves, you’ll see spring ephemerals, delicate and pretty, but short-lived. Bloodroot and hepaticas are among the earliest, followed by trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, anemones, Dutchman’s breeches, columbine and more. A good book to help you identify them is Wildflowers of Wisconsin Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. You’ll find it at Baraboo’s downtown bookstores.
The chatty house wrens should be back by late April, so watch for upland sandpipers, wood thrushes, catbirds and scarlet tanagers. Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been seen in late April some years. And little brown bats will begin emerging.
The Baraboo Hill’s contiguous, mixed hardwood forest is one of the largest largest Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the Midwest, according to the National Audubon Society. The bluffs host 135 breeding bird species, some of which are important at-risk populations like the cerulean, worm-eating and hooded warblers, which will arrive in May as warming temperatures bring out the insects they feed upon.
Checklist For Birdwatching
You’ll have little trouble filling in the updated Devil’s Lake State Park Bird Checklist between the Inn, Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, the Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve two miles south of here, and Devil’s Lake State Park. The Park’s naturalist Sue Johansen recently revised this helpful birding tool. It includes the bird species one can likely see, luckily see or is unlikely to see and when around the Park, plus habitat information. Print the free list here or get a copy at the Inn.
The Preserve’s 1,900 acres of forest, prairie, savanna, wetlands and streams are laced with 12.7 miles of trails, including 3.2 miles of Ice Age Trail that connect to Devil’s Lake State Park at the Roznos Meadow trail head on state highway 113. Get a trail map from the Inn or print one here.
There are two state natural areas contained within the Park, Devil’s Lake Oak Forest and South Bluff/Devil’s Nose. The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology considers the Park one of Wisconsin’s top 10 birding sites. Migrations can offer excellent waves of songbirds.
See more birding tips in our two previous articles.
If you’re quiet and lucky, you may catch glimpses of fox kits, mallards sitting on nests, early white-tailed deer fawns, and goslings taking their first swim. Salamanders and newts will be on the move. For certain the growing chorus of frogs looking for their mates will serenade you as you hike.
Here are links to help you identify the singing amphibians:
- spring peepers, the first to emerge, in march, song is high-pitched, ringing bells, one peep per second, reaching 90 decibels or more
- western chorus frog sounds like a repeating prreep, like running your nail over the teeth of comb, which you can hear half a mile away
- Cope’s and eastern gray tree frogs
- wood frog
- American toad makes a long, high-pitched trill that can last 30 seconds or more
Frog Safari April 25
Hike with the Park’s naturalist to learn the different frog songs, April 25, 7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to trek the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds to listen for spring peepers, and chorus and wood frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Bring waterproof hiking boots for the ephemeral wetlands you’ll encounter along the woodland trails.
Book a guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899 for a spring excursion.
April 24–May 3: Almost, Maine Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. The Baraboo Theatre Guild presents a story about residents of Almost, Maine, a mythical town, who are falling in and out of love under the northern lights and a star-studded sky, but in unexpected and hilarious ways. Bruised knees and broken hearts mend, almost, in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. Tickets $38.95 for dinner and show, reserve by calling 608-356-5246 or purchase at www.barabootheatreguild.org. More details also at http://www.farmk.com.
April 24–26: Wisconsin Dells Polka Fest, Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Enjoy a weekend of Patrick Henry-style music, musician workshops, jam sessions, friends and beautiful Wisconsin Dells views. Friday 6:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m.–1:00 a.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. For details and tickets visit www.dellspolkafest.com.
April 25: Learn To Fly Fish 18th-centrury Style at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn, to learn how to catch fish using a method and gear from a century ago that still entices and thrills anglers today, including how to tie a period fishing fly.
April 25: Full House Quintet Jazz House Concert at River Arts On Water Gallery, 590 Water St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. From Madison, Wis., this unique group meets regularly to play its members’ compositions and explore improvisation, playing everything from the blues to bebop and more reflecting members’ diverse backgrounds. All have ties to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; three are retired music professors from there. A viola, keyboard, bass and two bassoons. No advance ticket sales, donations at the door are welcomed to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more by calling 608-643-5215 or at www.riverartsinc.org.
April 25: Michelle and Nicole Pare at Con Amici, Baraboo’s wine bar, 125 Third St., 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Beautiful harmonies, fantastic music.
April 25: Shawndell Marks at CAL Center, 1100 South Albert Ave./south- US Hwy. 23, adjacent the Reedsburg Area High School, Reedsburg, Wis., 7:30 pm. A terrific local musician returns to the stage with her band with music that reflects sweet,simple concepts using her voice, piano, and various keyboard sounds. Tickets $15.00 at www.calcenter.org. Learn more about the artist here.
April 25: Trace Adkins at Ho-Chunk Gaming, between Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells, S3214 County Rd. BD, Baraboo, upper ballroom, 8:00 p.m. Live show, general admission only. Tickets $45.00 in advance purchased here. Each ticket includes $15.00 of free play. Learn more at www.ho-chunkgaming.com or call 1-800-746-2486.
April 25–26: Free Driving Range And Clinic at Fairfield Hills Golf Course–Range, S3308 Fox Hill Rd., Baraboo, range: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, clinic: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. A nine-hole par-30 course playable in less than two hours and the area’s largest and longest practice range with 34 stations and a practice putting green. For details call 608-356-5524 or visit www.fairfieldhillsgolfcourse.com.
April 26: Encore!! Art 2015: Reuse, Recycle, Rethink at U.W. Baraboo/Sauk County Campus gymnasium, 1006 Connie Rd., Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. An art event by the Sauk County Art Association for artists to create art of discarded and unwanted materials. Admission for the public is free, artists have an entry fee. Learn more at www.saukcountyartassociation.com.
April 26: Sauk County Earth Day Celebration, U.W. Baraboo/Sauk County Campus Lange Student Center, 1006 Connie Rd., Baraboo, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. More than 50 hands-on exhibits, four mini workshops, live music, an art competition and more, all indoors. Learn about community-supported agriculture (CSA), energy-saving options, erosion control, local waterfowl, water, aquatic invasive species, global conservation for cranes and more. Admission and parking are free. For more information visit www.saukcountyearthday.com or call Sauk County Land Conservation at 608-355-4839.
Spring is nature’s season of love. About the time the tree frogs start singing with spring peepers, chorus and wood frogs in mid April, another fascinating but quieter courtship ritual fills the air. The usually silent male American woodcock emerges from its brushy cover to perform a spiraling aerial display alternated with a rhythmic, buzzy peent sound.
At Devil’s Lake State Park’s Steinke Basin, the kettle ponds, creek and brushy habitat along the mature forest edge offer the woodcock an ideal home. Also known as the Timberdoodle, this secretive bird lives in young forests and shrubby areas near wetlands, streams and rivers.
Only five minutes west of the Inn at Wawanissee Point, you can enjoy a rare opportunity to view this bird’s unusual mating ritual.
Saturday evening, April 18, 2015, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., join Devil’s Lake State Park’s naturalist to watch for male woodcocks dancing in the air and singing to attract females. The frogs’ chorus will be the background concert. Bring a chair, blanket and binoculars to the Steinke Basin parking lot.
- Purchase a day or annual state park vehicle admission sticker online or at the Park’s north shore.
The male peents repeatedly while bobbing on the ground, flies upward in a spiral as high as 300 feet and then zig-zags in a downward dive, its wing feathers making a chirping sound as it descends. He’ll land silently, hopefully beside a female, and then repeat the performance. The males will continue this display even after most females have laid eggs.
This excellently camouflaged, plump, neckless bird, about 10 inches long, is difficult to spot and seldom seen as it combs through muddy thickets probing for earthworms with its long, flexible bill. The wary bird becomes nearly invisible as it freezes in place when its large eyes spot danger. But in early spring at dusk it treats us to its romantic aerial show.
- Listen to the Timberdoodle’s vocalizations at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Web site here .
Once plentiful, the woodcock population across eastern North America has steadily declined one percent a year since the 1960s as forests have matured and development has overtaken much of its habitat. In 2001 several federal and state wildlife agencies and conservation organizations, including the Ruffed Grouse Society, formed a task force and a conservation plan to restore habitat for this odd bird, one of few shorebirds hunted. Learn more about these efforts at Timberdoodle.com.
Hike the shrubby edges of our property, the Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve and Roznos Meadow, east of the Park, for more opportunities to spot a Timberdoodle.
Be ready to watch birds. Reserve a guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Tracking Bird Migration
March through May is an exciting time for birdwatching, and opportunities change quickly. Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdCast Web site at birdcast.info uses an array of data including weather to forecast birds on the move. Also, check the weather forecast around 10:00 p.m. to plan your next morning’s bird treks. Birds are little sacks of water and in large groups they appear on radar in brilliant clouds as they ascend near radar stations, often following the edge of a front. Radar ornithology is an exciting and rapidly growing research field. Good weather sites to monitor are the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research here and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Earth and Atmospheric Sciences here, which is where this April 12, 2014 screen capture is from.
Birding Activities Nearby
April 15: International Crane Foundation opens for its visitor season, Baraboo, daily 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. through Oct. 31, 2015, 15 minutes north of the Inn. Learn about cranes and the organization’s global conservation programs on a guided tour with a naturalist at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. weekends only in April, May, September and October, daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. See the world’s 15 crane species that reside there and hike through the Foundation’s restored prairie. Visit www.savingcranes.org for more information.
April 15: Aldo Leopold Center opens for its main season, Baraboo, Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. An educational and interpretive facility in a new, renewable-energy-powered building, one of the greenest in the world, near the Leopold shack. A 2.5 mile interpretive trail network through 305 acres oak savanna, wetlands and a dry prairie remnant overlooking the River, critical habitat for grassland birds and sandhill crane staging during migration, is open for hiking year-round during visitation hours. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.
April 18: Annual Midwest Crane Count, 5:30 a.m.–7:30 a.m. 3,000 volunteers around Baraboo and throughout the Midwest rise early to count sandhill and whooping cranes returning to their northern breeding grounds. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Count! To help and learn more visit: www.cranecount.org.
April 18: Dragonflies and Damselflies at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn, for a fun presentation about the biology and life history of Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s dragonflies and damselflies by wildlife photographer Dan Jackson who has photographed 120 species, plus more than 400 bird species and other flora and fauna during many hours in the field. Learn how to identify these incredible insects. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
The sandhill cranes’ rattling bugle filled the warm morning air March 13, 2015. The pair that nests in the marsh across from Wawanissee Point between Tower and Bluff Roads returned to announce spring 2015’s arrival with their unison calls. Hear a unison call here.
Unlike other years where they have flown in on the heels of a cold or stormy weather front, they arrived on our warmest day of this year—it nearly reached 70 degrees Friday.
At the Inn at Wawanissee Point we consider the crane’s return the beginning of spring and the spring bird migration. This year the cranes are the first migrant to return here.
Now we’ll watch for red-winged blackbirds, robins, turkey vultures and killdeer. With daytime lows at or above freezing the past few nights and the soil frost thawing, the spring peepers could start singing their romantic chorus before temperatures return to normal, around the middle 40s, next week.
Schedule A Spring Birding Getaway
We have guest rooms available beginning March 16, 2015, but weekends are starting to fill. Our Secret Garden guest room will be closed most of April for a makeover, an exciting opportunity, but it reduces room availability. Reserve early.
Book a guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.
Devil’s Lake Sightings
Local outdoor enthusiast, photographer and media specialist Derrick Mayoleth saw several great blue herons return to the rookery near Devil’s Lake State Park’s south shore March 12, seven miles southwest of the Inn. While scoping for early-returning migrants and finding no others, he enjoyed the rare treat of seeing a golden eagle. See his great photographs here.
Monitor Mayoleth’s Devil’s Lake State Park blog at www.devilslakewisconsin.com to read trail updates, park news and wildlife sightings in and around the Park.
Monitor Leopold Bird Sightings
A great place near the Inn to see many birds is the 16,000-acre Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the Wisconsin River and Levee Road, which is Rustic Road 49, nine miles northeast of Baraboo, Wis. This popular stop for migrating birds, breeding habitat for grassland species and a renown birding location adjoins the Aldo Leopold Center. It’s only 20 minutes from the Inn.
Scientists have surveyed as many as 40 migrating species at Leopold-Pine Island. March 13 birders saw a number of spring migrants. See reported sightings by viewing the eBird chart at the Center’s Web site IBA page here.
Most of the IBA is privately owned but you’ll find great birding by car along 11 miles of Levee Road where you can explore a few public accesses.
Birdwatch along the Center’s 2.5-mile interpretive trail network through oak savanna, wetlands and a dry prairie remnant overlooking the River. It’s open for hiking 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday through April 14. The Center will open for the season April 15 for visiting and hiking 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Saturdays. Learn more about visiting at www.aldoleopold.org.
Follow The Cranes
The Wisconsin-reared whooping cranes have started leaving their southerly winter grounds and will arrive in Wisconsin now through April. You can follow their migration at the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership and the Operation Migration Web sites.
Nearby you may see whooping cranes at the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area.
Crane Foundation Opens April 15
April 15, 2015 the International Crane Foundation opens for its daily visitor season, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. It’s 15 minutes north of the Inn. Learn about cranes and the organization’s global conservation programs on a guided tour with a naturalist. See the world’s 15 crane species that reside there and hike through the Foundation’s restored prairie to find spring arrivals and the first blooms. Visit www.savingcranes.org for more information.
Bring your waterproof hiking boots for spring birding. In lower spots the area trails are wet and muddy above the thawing frost.
Spring Fun Around Baraboo
April 10: Aldo Leopold Foundation Brown Bag Lunch: Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists In Wisconsin Led The Way, E13701 Levee Rd. (Rustic Road 49), Baraboo, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Journalist and author Bill Berry tells this inspiring story of citizens joining scientists in one of the first and most important battles in modern environmentalism. Learn how Leopold’s land ethic was a foundation for the fight against DDT and local activists who helped. Admission is free. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.
April 10: Tonic Sol Fa at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. A regional-favorite male vocal quartet with a tambourine that has been touring for 10 years carving a niche that has earned its notation as one of the top five must-see groups in America. Tickets $28.00 at www.alringling.com or by calling 608-356-8864.
April 11–May 17: Riverside & Great Northern Railway, N115 County Road N, Wisconsin Dells, opens its spring season, open at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays with seven train rides on the hour beginning at 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. This 15-inch gauge railroad with three miles of track passes through canyons, rock formations and wooded areas beside the Wisconsin River. A hand-operated turntable turns the locomotive twice during the ride. Browse a living museum of preserved historic engines (steam and diesel) and passenger cars built by the Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works from 1950–1980, exhibits, learning center and a Museum Store. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds. Learn more at www.dellstrain.com.
April 12: Seth Peterson Cottage Tour at Mirror Lake State Park, E9982 Fern Dell Road, between Baraboo and Lake Delton, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Enjoy a 20-minute guided tour and learn the history of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cottage in the woods on a cliff overlooking the Lake. Tickets $4.00, support upkeep and the park. The Cottage is west of the Park Office at E10320, marked by a red gate. Stop at the Office to purchase your daily or season state park admission sticker. Learn more at www.sethpeterson.org. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Through May 3: Ring Of Fire Dinner Theatre, Palace Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. A musical salute celebrating Johnny Cash. Details at www.dellspalace.com.
Celebrate nature’s sweet elixir at the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center’s Maple Syrup Festival April 4, 2015 from 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., in nearby Poynette, Wis.
Learn how the sweet sap is tapped and boiled into luscious syrup during demonstrations, with discussions about how Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup compared to today’s methods. Take a guided tour of the sugar bush and watch homemade ice cream being churned with an antique engine. Then sample this perfect medium over which to drizzle the amber syrup. Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride and live country music. The museums and native animal exhibit will also be open.
The Friends of MacKenzie group will sell refreshments, maple products and souvenirs. Admission is free though donations are appreciated.
Getting There, Watch For Spring Migrants
The MacKenzie Environmental Education Center is east of the Inn at Wawanissee Point, about a 35-minute scenic drive along Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River, an opportunity to spot birds returning in the spring migration. By the first weekend of April we should see waterfowl, sandhill cranes, red-winged black birds, turkey vultures, robins and Eastern Phoebes, among other early arrivers.
The Center’s 500 acres include an arboretum with more than 100 tree species, a nature study pond, interpretive trails through forest and prairie, an observation tower, conservation and logging museums, and infrastructure that enable it to teach more than 15,000 children a year about the state’s natural resources. Adjacent the Center is the State Game Farm where ring-necked pheasants are raised for the state’s restocking program. Both facilities are owned and operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Learn more about the Maple Syrup Festival and the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center here.
Then snuggle by the fire on our secluded prairie terrace to gaze at the Pink Full Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse and a sky full of stars. We’ll provide s’mores if you wish. American Indians named the April full moon the Pink Moon because it coincides with the emergence of moss pink or wild ground phlox, one of spring’s first flowers.
Reserve your favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Find more spring adventures around Baraboo at the Baraboo Area Chamber Of Commerce’s Web site www.baraboo.com.
Last chance for our Snowshoe Special: $50.00 off your stay until March 31. Details HERE.
The new Palace Theatre in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., will offer Ring Of Fire Dinner Theatre beginning March 26 until May 3, 2015. This top-quality performance is a unique musical celebrating Johnny Cash’s soul-stirring music. His classics of love, faith, struggle, redemption and family are arranged and choreographed in a foot-stomping and pleasing salute. Dinner is served 90 minutes before the show at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.95, which includes a three-course dinner. Purchase by calling 608-253-4000. Learn more at www.dellspalace.com.
The NBC’s number-one rated a cappella music competition brings two fan-favorite groups to the Crystal Grand Music Theatre in Wisconsin Dells—an easy 20-minute ride from the Inn—for The Sing-off Live! Tour on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Deke Sharon, renown a cappella arranger, producer and musical director will help offer an incredible evening of a cappella experience and talent. Purchase tickets at www.crystalgrand.com.
On Saturday, March 28, join the Spring Phenology Hike At Devil’s Lake Sate Park from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. to hear the natural world’s music. Phenology is the seasonal changes in flora and fauna from year to year, such as bird migration, plant bloom and insect emergence. Spend the afternoon hiking the Park to record nature’s signs for the National Phenology Network’s program, Nature’s Notebook, with the Park’s naturalist. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Bird Migration Underway
Whether you drive Sauk County’s four Rustic Roads, hit the damp, greening trails around the Inn, or watch from our sunroom and Great Room skybox, you’re apt to spot new bird arrivals daily as March fade to April. Use our spotting scope, binoculars and bird guides. Blue birds, great blue herons, Eastern phoebes, fox sparrows, tree swallows, mallard ducks and more will join the robins, cranes, song sparrows, killdeer, red-winged black birds and other early arrivals on the bluff. Start listening for ruffed grouse drumming along the forest-prairie ecotones.
You’ll feel the escalating energy of spring’s renewal all around you on the trails by the end of March. It’s an exciting time to visit, when few others do, so soak in the solitude to refresh.
Book your favorite guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.
Visual Art Opportunities
March 24: Book Art Workshop, Baraboo Public Library, 230 Fourth Ave., 6:30 p.m. Join local artist Rochelle Robkin to learn how to create art from discarded books. Materials are provided. Admission is free. Part of a momthly workshop series.
March 26: Photo Preservation and Identification Presentation at the H. H. Bennett Studio, downtown Wisconsin Dells, 215 Broadway, 7:00 p.m. Wisconsin Historical Society Library-Archives staff share an overview of how to safely and properly preserve photographs and methods to identify them. Admission is free. Learn more at www.hhbennettstudio.wisconsinhistory.org.
Plan a spring getaway to help us welcome spring on the vernal equinox March 20, 2015. The sun will shine directly on the equator creating nearly equal amounts of day and night.
It’s a peaceful yet lively time of transition in the Baraboo Hills. Seek the inspiration of renewal along the trails.
- Sandhill cranes usually return the bluff before March 20. Come hear our resident pair’s first calls from the marsh across the road.
- Spring peepers and chorus frogs often wiggle from the warming marsh bottom around the first day of spring, filling their air with their love songs.
- Red-winged black birds, robins, geese and turkey vultures arrive in the first wave of spring migration often by the spring equinox. Thereafter many birds appear to add their songs to the peepers’.
Small mammals will be birthing, squirrels and fox, while the slower-paced opossums will begin mating after the equinox.
Search for the first emergence of green in the woods and prairies, from hearty skunk cabbage that begins blooming the first of the month to Dutchman’s breeches and pasque flowers. Maple sap will be flowing into collection pails tempting our taste buds for the spring elixir.
Recharge Your Batteries
- Relax in the sunroom watching all the arriving birds.
- Hike at Devil’s Lake State Park, the state natural areas or the Merrimac Preserve. Bring your waterproof hiking boots in case trails are muddy.
- Sweat out the winter blahs in our sauna, a great spring cleanse, before soaking together in the tub.
- Keep your feet dry by driving Levee Road, Rustic Road 49, nine miles northeast of Baraboo, to see cranes and other migrating birds stopping at the 16,000-acre Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the Wisconsin River, across the road from the Leopold Center. Bring your binoculars.
Our snowshoe special of $50.00 off your stay runs until March 31.
Reserve a guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Cultural Fun In The Area
March 19: Seventh Generation Earth Ethics: Native Voices of Wisconsin Author Reading and Discussion at the H. H. Bennett Studio, downtown Wisconsin Dells, 215 Broadway, 7:00 p.m. University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and broadcast journalist Patty Lowe, an American Indian, will discuss her newest book, Seventh Generation Earth Ethics: Native Voices of Wisconsin, a collection of Native biographies from each of Wisconsin’s 12 tribes about how the first Americans honored the seventh generation philosophy by living with traditional ecological values and cultural sensibilities, deeply rooted in their ancestral land, beginning the state’s rich tradition of sustainability continued by Aldo Leopold, John Muir and Gaylord Nelson. Admission is free. Books will be for sale. Learn more at www.hhbennettstudio.wisconsinhistory.org.
March 20 & 21: Creedence Clearwater Revisited at Ho-Chunk Gaming, between Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells, S3214 County Rd. BD, Baraboo, upper ballroom, 8:00 p.m. Friday, 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Live show, general admission only. Tickets $40.00 in advance purchased here or $50.00 at the door. Each ticket includes $15.00 of free play. Learn more at www.ho-chunkgaming.com or call 1-800-746-2486.
March 20: Total Solar Eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun, revealing the sun’s beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. See it from the Great Room skybox.
March 21: Aspire 2015 Performance, River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Current and former professional performing atists from around the country who are Sauk Prairie High School alumni return to grace the stage with their vocal, acting and dancing talent that began in their youth in Sauk Prairie. Tickets $15.00. Details at www.riverartsinc.org.
March 21: Aspire 2015 Art Exhibit Public Reception at the River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. An exhibition of former Sauk Prairie High School students who have continued professionally in the visual arts field return home for a debut alumni art show to express their gratitude to the community that provided their foundation to a life dedicated to art. Curated by alumna Mandy Culver. Exhibit available until May 6. Details at www.riverartsinc.org.
March 23: Circus World Museum’s spring performance season begins, weekdays 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. through May 21, 2015, plus weekends March 28–29 and May 16–17. Magician Tristan Crist headlines with two live performances of his Theatre of Illusion show at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Circus Cinema giant screen theater, Ringling exhibits, circus poster gallery, historic buildings and grounds, and gift shop are rain or shine. Learn more here.
Cap the month of romance by getting into costume and disguise for a winter Masque Ball Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Al. Ringling Mansion and Museum in downtown Baraboo, Wis. Masks and costumes are encouraged and add allure and intrigue to an evening, but aren’t required.
Twirl, swirl and dance away to live music from three bands: Michelle Maria’s Latin-salsa, The Rascal Theory’s rock-funk and The Blacker Brothers Band’s rock-funk-soul. The Barn Restaurant will offer a cash bar and food in the grand, historic home two doors down from the Al. Ringling Theatre.
Make a mask or buy one. Research masquerade mask, feather mask, Venetian mask, commedia mask, Capitano mask, bauta mask or Casanova mask for examples and sources online. Just Imagine Toys in downtown Baraboo next to the Theatre should have some masks and other masquerade accessories. Another local source is Fan Faire Costumes, open by appointment in the winter by calling 608-356-7995.
Ball tickets are $5.00 at the door. Find more tips and details at the Ball’s Facebook page here or call 608-448-7455 with questions. Learn more about the home built in 1905 and efforts to convert it into a museum at www.ringlingmansion.com.
More Winter Fun
Last chance, until March 1, 2015: Wisconsin Regional Arts Program, Art With Heart and Community Photo Contest at the River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, school days 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. An annual exhibition of more than 40 local, nonprofessional artists’ work in a variety of media. The Art Program began in 1940 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to encourage rural artists to make and exhibit artwork. The Annual State Art Exhibition in Madison, Wis., in September will feature meritorious works chosen from this and more than 20 other exhibitions like it around the state. Also see the top 18 of 150 submitted and jury-selected photographs from the community and see Sauk Prairie students’ Art With Hearth artwork, a fund-raiser for the Congenital Pediatric Heart Association. Details are at www.riverartsinc.org.
Feb. 20–March 1: Echos Of A Legend–A Tribute To Elvis Dinner Theatre, The Palace Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Dinner is served 90 minutes before the show at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. A night to relive the king of rock-and-roll’s songs presented by Stephen Freeman, named one of the top ten Elvis Tribute Artists in the world in August 2014 at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, among other similar awards. He is a writer, producer and singer who has performed around the country since 1998, and was named Tribute Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 2011. Tickets start at $49.95. Purchase by calling 608-253-4000. Learn more at www.dellspalace.com.
Feb. 27: An Evening With Mark Twain at the Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., on the downtown square in Baraboo. Richard Springer returns with his one-man show to amuse and amaze. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Feb. 28: Winter Phenology Hike At Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Phenology is the seasonal changes in flora and fauna from year to year, such as bird migration, plant bloom and insect emergence. We’ll spend the afternoon hiking the Park to record nature’s signs for the National Phenology Network’s program, Nature’s Notebook. Use the Inn’s complimentary showshoes for this event, if you wish. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Reserve a room for romance here or call us at 608-355-9899.
The Baraboo Hills are now coated in about seven inches of fluffy snow. The kind that sparkles in the moonlight, which has burned through light cloud cover this week illuminating the night landscape. No flashlight needed.
Ironically as the Feb. 1 and 3, 2015 storms finally brought winter to this part of Wisconsin, the songbirds started singing their spring songs despite the temperatures being colder than normal. Phenologists call this the spring chorus. For the birds spring and the season of romance has arrived.
We’ve been breaking snowshoe trails at the Inn at Wawanissee Point. The sky seemed bluer against the white blanket, further highlighting the naked trees’ architectural artistry. The spring tunes filled the crisp air, adding zing to our steps.
Come savor solitude in the quiet of winter, now paired with the first shift to spring.
2015 Snowshoeing Special
Stay with us until March 31, 2015, except Feb. 13–15, and receive $50.00 off your stay. Print this page and present it when you check in. Dates and room selection are based on availability. Specials may not be combined.
Find more specials and add-ons for your romantic getaway here.
- Use our Redfeather Snowshoes on three miles of wooded and prairie trails through our 42 acres. Depending on how many times you stop, or trek off trail, you can spend two to three hours here.
- Rent cross-country ski sets next door at Devil’s Head Resort where you can explore the golf course or miles of trails between there and Devil’s Lake State Park.
- Wildside Adventure Sports in Baraboo, Wis., also rents skis and snowshoes, and will service your skis of all kinds.
We’ll provide trail maps. Then meander freely and follow your tracks back to the trail you departed.
What To Bring
- Foot ware: comfortable and warm winter boots, or waterproof hiking boots, with wool socks.
- Leg ware: Waterproof snow pants are nice.
- Upper body ware: three layers to shed as you warm. First, wicking long underwear of wool, silk or synthetic materials—never cotton. A fleece or wool middle layer breathes and insulates when wet. Top that with a lightweight jacket that blocks the wind.
- Head and hands: hat plus waterproof mittens or gloves. A glove over an insulating liner lets you remove a layer if you’re overheated. And pack your sunglasses and sunscreen lip balm!
- Fanny pack: for a water bottle and snack, if your coat pockets aren’t big enough. Then you can get lost in the natural beauty with little though to t time, as you should on vacation!
After an invigorating frolic in the snow…
- Relax in our Shiatsu massage chair
- Warm and cleanse in the sauna
- Gaze at the fire in the Great Room or Secret Garden guest room.
- Soak in tub together.
Full Moon Shoeing
Come this first weekend of February or a week before or after the March 5 full moon to glide the trails of shimmering diamonds by moonlight. You’re apt to hear the owls and coyotes, maybe a fox, all currently enthralled with courtship.
Book a guest room at our secluded, mini resort. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
The Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park will host a Candlelight Snowshoe And Hike Feb. 21, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in Baraboo, Wis., five minutes west of the Inn. Enjoy a self-guided snowshoe or hike through the Park and then warm by the campfire and enjoy some s’mores.
Meet at the Rock Elm Shelter at the Park’s north shore. If you have questions, call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected]. Get your 2015 Wisconsin State Parks annual admission sticker or a daily pass at the Park entrance or beforehand here.
Guests may use complimentary our Redfeather Snowshoes for this winter-fun evening, and while exploring our 42 acres and miles of trails around the Inn at the Riverland Conservancy’s 1,900-acre Merrimac Preserve, which connects to Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area and Devil’s Lake State Park.
If spring arrives early this may be one of the last chances to enjoy the artistic beauty of the winter landscape, and easily follow critter tracks through the woods and prairies.
Even if there isn’t enough snow to cross-country ski or snowshoe, winter hiking refreshingly blasts away the winter blahs. And by the end of February the deep cold has passed and the sun shines longer each day, making outdoor excursions easier.
Immerse In Nature’s Artistry And Serenity
The white carpet illuminates the tree bark’s color and texture more vividly, and the bare branches sport new dimensions, both less noticeable in other seasons. It is especially peaceful in the woods this time of year as you look for rabbit holes, deer beds and sheds, and listen to the winter birds with the hope of spotting early spring arrivals or groups of cedar wax wings searching for remaining berries.
The Inn’s soaking tubs, sauna and massage chair pamper you after unwinding and rejuvenating treks through winter’s outdoor solitude.
Reserve your favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Music, Chili And Fellowship Nearby
- Feb. 20: Cat’s Pajamas at the River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. This five-man a cappella group has been touring globally since 2005 and appeared recently on NBC TV’s The Sing-off. Learn more and purchase tickets, $20.00, at www.riverartsinc.org.
- Feb. 22: Chili Supper at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Road, Baraboo, five minutes east of the Inn, 4:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Beef and vegetarian home-cooked chili with fixings, and fellowship. Donations are appreciated and benefit the friends group that recently purchased and saved the Glen from development, to preserve its natural beauty and spiritual heritage. People of any faith are welcome to walk the scenic grounds. Learn more at www.durwardsglen.org. Questions: contact [email protected] or call 608-356-8113.
- Feb. 22: Conjunction of Venus and Mars. Conjunctions are rare events where two or more objects appear especially close together in the night sky. The two bright planets will be visible within only half a degree of each other in the evening sky. Look to the west just after sunset.
No matter the weather, packing a bag, driving out of town and anticipating a long weekend away from home chases the doldrums away. Then the crisp, fresh winter air, sparkling scenery and birds starting to sing their spring chorus in the Baraboo Bluffs are sure to rejuvenate you. Yes, the cardinals and chickadees have changed their tunes already.
At our mini snowshoe resort you’ll find solitude and warmth to pamper indoors, peace and invigorating fun in the snow outdoors, by hike, snowshoe, ski and sled.
Whisk your sweetheart away for a long, romantic weekend
to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2015 at the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
It falls on a Saturday this year.
Ride the Mid-Continent Railway Museum Snow Train™ through the snow-covered hills. Reserve a seat now on the Feb. 14 delicious dinner train for a romantic evening on the historic rails. Details here and below.
- Soak together in the massage-therapy tub in the Bordeaux room.
- Snuggle in our plush robes with love songs playing, enjoying each other in your favorite guest room.
- Enjoy the birds feeding below the sunroom, and Bird’s Nest and Secret Garden guest rooms. Watch for pine siskins, redpolls and red-breasted nuthatches amid our hearty winter locals.
- Rejuvenate in our sauna, hot tub and Shiatsu massage chair, especially after frolicking outdoors.
- Pamper together at Baraboo’s exclusive day spa, Spa Serenity. Our guests receive a 10-percent discount.
Watch the eagles between the Inn and Sauk Prairie from your warm car, the best blind to avoid spooking the birds fishing along the Wisconsin River. You’ll find volunteers at the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council Overlook in downtown Prairie du Sac, Wis., on Saturdays and Sundays in January and February from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to answer your questions as you watch through the spotting scopes.
- Snowshoe or hike our 42 acres and endless trails nearby, including Riverland Conservancy’s 1,900-acre Merrimac Preserve. Our inventory of Redfeather Snowshoes are ready.
- Downhill ski next door at Devil’s Head Resort or over the hill at Cascade Mountain.
- Cross-country ski at Devil’s Head Resort, Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake State Parks. Rent skis at Wildside Adventure Sports or Devil’s Head.
We have sleds for sliding down our prairie hill. Work up an appetite for a romantic dinner and decadent dessert.
Indulge With Treats
We can arrange fresh flowers or roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, gourmet chocolates, a decadent cake, champagne and/or a balloon bouquet to surprise your sweetheart. See our romantic add-ons on our Specials & Packages page.
Reserve a guest room soon! Call 608-355-9899
or click Check Availability here and above.
Valentine’s Weekend Events
Feb. 12–15: Four Weddings And An Elvis Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, Thursdays to Saturdays 6:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. The Baraboo Theatre Guild presents a comedy of four of the funniest matrimonies Sandy has seen in her Las Vegas wedding chapel, herself four-times married and three-times divorced, concluding with the funniest ceremony, her fifth and final wedding with a hilarious twist. Tickets $38.95 for dinner and show, reserve by calling 608-356-5246 or purchase at www.barabootheatreguild.org.
Feb. 14: Eagle Watching Bus Tour, 10:00 a.m., Sauk Prairie. 50-minute informative and educational eagle watching bus tour with great views of the majestic bird, $5.00 per person. Reservations are required; tours fill quickly. Call the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber Of Commerce at 608-643-6625 to reserve. (Saturday mornings Jan. 10–Feb. 14, 2015) Learn more at www.ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org.
Feb. 14: Winter Wildlife On Snowshoes At Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Join the Park’s naturalist to discover the thrills of a snowshoe trek along the trails in winter’s silent world. The program will emphasize wildlife tracks and signs, and recreational snowshoeing to connect with winter surroundings. Use the Inn’s Redfeather snowshoes for this event. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Feb. 14–15: Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s 40th Annual Snow Train™. Ride through Sauk County’s scenic winter wonderland by coach and first-class services both days, and a dinner train Feb. 14. All include a 55-minute ride in restored cars heated by steam or coal-fired stoves along seven miles of the former Chicago & North Western Railroad line that meanders through the snow-covered Baraboo Hills, seven miles west of Baraboo, Wis. Learn more at www.mcrwy.com.
As we write this blog article on Jan. 4 we just received the first snow of 2015 and more is forecasted in a couple days!
With cold temperatures upon us, there will be snow for the final Candlelight Ski, Hike And Snowshoe hosted by The Friends of Mirror Lake State Park on Feb. 7, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Lake Delton, Wis., 20 minutes north of the Inn. The Feb. 3 snow full moon will help illuminate two, one-mile trails, one for skiers and the other for everyone else, lit by torches.
Warm beside the roaring bon fires and purchase refreshments, if you wish. Meet at the beach picnic area. If you have questions, call 608-254-2333 or e-mail them to [email protected].
Purchase a 2015 Wisconsin State Parks annual admission sticker or a daily pass beforehand here or at the Park entrance.
Guests may use our Redfeather Snowshoes, made in Wisconsin, for this snow-sparkling evening, and here on our 42 acres, or on miles of trails around the Inn.
We have two cross-country ski rental choices nearby, next door at Devil’s Head Resort or at Wildside Adventure Sports in Baraboo. Wildside rents ski sets, and snowshoes and poles, by the day or weekend. It will also wax your skis.
Moonlit snowshoeing is an enchanting experience everyone should try once. It will be possible a week before and after the Feb. 3 full moon, either at the Inn or through the prairies and woods at the Riverland Conservancy’s 1,900-acre Merrimac Preserve and at Devil’s Lake State Park.
After playing in the snow, warm in our sauna and cleanse away toxins to start the new year refreshed and with glowing skin. Then soak in a long bubble bath for two in the Bourdeux guest room.
Call us at 608-355-9899 or book your guest room here.
More To Do
- Feb. 5–15: Four Weddings And An Elvis Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, Thursdays to Saturdays 6:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. The Baraboo Theatre Guild presents a comedy of four of the funniest matrimonies Sandy has seen in her Las Vegas wedding chapel, herself four-times married and three-times divorced, concluding with the funniest ceremony, her fifth and final wedding with a hilarious twist. Tickets $38.95 for dinner and show, reserve by calling 608-356-5246 or purchase at www.barabootheatreguild.org.
- Feb. 6: Dueling Pianos at the Dorf Haus, 8931 County Road Y, Roxbury on the outskirts of Sauk City, 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. A River Arts Inc. fund-raiser to support arts in the community, featuring Chicago Keys, a quartet of four working pianist-vocalists from Chicago, Ill., who will play your requests and offer beautiful harmonies, stellar musicianship, energetic renditions of many songs ranging from jazz to current chart toppers, and appropriate humor, plus the Traveling Photo Booth and a silent auction. Tickets $20.00. Details at www.riverartsinc.org.
- Feb. 6: Jupiter at Opposition. The best day of the year to view Jupiter. It will fully reflect light from the sun as it makes its closest approach to Earth. See its four largest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, with a good pair of binoculars.
- Feb. 7: Eagle Watching Bus Tour, 10:00 a.m., Sauk Prairie. 50-minute informative and educational eagle watching bus tour with great views of the majestic bird, $5.00 per person. Reservations are required; tours fill quickly. Call the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber Of Commerce at 608-643-6625 to reserve. (Saturday mornings Jan. 10–Feb. 14, 2015) Learn more at www.ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org.
- Feb. 7: Photography Art Workshop at the River Arts Center Gallery in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Professional photographer Ania Fields teaches the art of capturing a child’s precious moments from a point-and-shoot camera, sharing professional tips, examples of work and discussing the experience of creating a strong child portrait. Each attendee will develop a better understanding of capturing a great image. Bring a notebook and camera. Admission is free. Learn more here: www.riverartsinc.org.
Watch the bald eagles, learn how Port wine is made on a behind-the-scene tour, and sample Port and other wines during Wollersheim Winery’s Port Wine Celebration Jan. 31, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Make it a winter getaway with Wollersheim and Wawanissee Point.
Tour Wollersheim’s modern fermentation facilities, learn insights about making Port wine from winemaker Philippe Coquard, and taste Wollersheim’s red and white ports, and other wines, as you meander to the historic, stone wine cellars where he ages the port in barrels. You’ll also see the Brandy pot still and Philippe’s custom-painted Port Harley motorcycle. Philippe will also answer your questions about the wines and the winery.
Enjoy live music and light food. Purchase a Port plate of Wisconsin cheeses, chocolate truffles, freshly baked bread, almonds and apricots that complement the red and white Ports. All wines will be available to purchase and enjoy by the glass. Admission is free. Learn more at www.wollersheim.com.
Eagle Viewing From The Vineyard
Wollersheim Winery along the Wisconsin River and highway 188 is one of the designated eagle-viewing areas in Sauk Prairie.
Enjoy a guided eagle-watching bus tour at 10:00 a.m. Jan. 31, hosted by Ferry Bluff Eagle Council volunteers with stops at ideal viewing locations. Tickets are $5.00 per person and sell quickly. Call the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber Of Commerce at 800-683-2453 to reserve a seat. Tours occur Saturday mornings Jan. 10 through Feb. 14, 2015.
You’ll find volunteers at the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council Overlook in downtown Prairie du Sac, Wis., on Saturdays and Sundays in January and February from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to answer your questions as you peer through the spotting scopes.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point, located 15 miles northeast of Sauk Prairie, is the closest bed and breakfast to Wollersheim Winery.
Click here to book your favorite guest room or call us at 608-355-9899.
Jan. 31: Open Studios by Cool Boo Arts & Fun Fest, Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Baraboo artisans open their workshops, studios and creative spaces for the public to see how they create. Find a list of participating artists at www.coolbooartsfunfest.com. The Fest celebrates Baraboo’s creative arts community and Wisconsin’s winter recreational fun with an array of activities. See Web site for a full list of events.
Jan. 31: Winter Phenology Hike At Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Phenology is the seasonal changes in flora and fauna from year to year, such as bird migration, plant bloom and insect emergence. We’ll spend the afternoon hiking the Park to record nature’s signs for the National Phenology Network’s program, Nature’s Notebook. Use the Inn’s complimentary Redfeather showshoes for this event, if you wish. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Jan. 31: Better Than Your 80s Prom by the CABin Fever Theatre at the Baraboo Arts Banquet Hall, 323 Water St., Baraboo, 6:00 p.m. Creative Alliance of Baraboo (CAB) Theatre is an all-ages theatre company promoting and enriching theatre arts in Baraboo, as a nonprofit. Hors d’oeuvres included with a cash bar. Attendees are encouraged to wear 1980s attire for this fun evening. Tickets $20.00 and more details at www.cabtheatre.org. Part of the Cool Boo Arts & Fun Fest, celebrating Baraboo’s creative arts community and Wisconsin’s winter recreational fun with an array of activities Jan. 16– Feb. 1, 2015. See a full list of Fest events at www.coolbooartsfunfest.com.
Jan. 31: Candlelight Walk Along The Baraboo River Walk from the Mary Roundtree Evans Park, four blocks west of the downtown square along Second Ave., to the the Kiwanis Park Gazebo at 100 Water St., Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Refreshments and a bon fire at the Kiwanis Park Gazebo. Part of the Cool Boo Arts & Fun Fest. Find more details about and a map of the Walk, and a full list of the Fest events at www.coolbooartsfunfest.com.
Dance away the pounds you gained indulging throughout the holidays at Baraboo’s Annual Snowflake Ball Jan. 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center in West Baraboo, Wis. During this royal evening where everyone is a king or queen, dress in formal or casual attire to this year’s black-and-white theme, and enjoy live music by Bo Deans paired with delightful appetizers.
The St. Clare Hospital & Auxiliary sponsors this event as part of the Cool Boo Arts & Fun Fest, celebrating Baraboo’s creative arts community and Wisconsin’s winter recreational fun with an array of activities Jan. 16– Feb. 1, 2015. See a full list of Fest events at www.coolbooartsfunfest.com.
Ball tickets are $25.00 by calling 608-356-1430 or at Unique Boutique at St. Clare Hospital, Corner Drug in downtown Baraboo or at the Clarion.
More Winter Fun:
Jan. 22: Ken Lonnquist, at the River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. A funny and enjoyable songwriter performs with his guitar as he has done professionally since he attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning him numerous awards. Tickets $10.00 and more details at www.riverartsinc.org.
Jan. 24: Eagle Watching Bus Tour, Sauk Prairie, 10:00 a.m. Ferry Bluff Eagle Council volunteers will guide this 50-minute tours with stops at ideal viewing locations. Tickets are $5.00 per person. Call the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber Of Commerce at 800-683-2453 to reserve a seat. Tours are popular and fill quickly. Tours occur Saturday mornings Jan. 10 through Feb. 14, 2015.
Jan. 24: Winter Wildlife On Snowshoes At Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Join the Park’s naturalist to discover the thrills of a snowshoe trek along the trails in winter’s silent world. The program will emphasize wildlife tracks and signs, and recreational snowshoeing to connect with winter surroundings. Use the Inn’s complimentary Redfeather showshoes for this event. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Jan. 24: Pinot and Picasso at Con Amici, Baraboo’s wine bar, 125 Third St., 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Artist Whitney Robarge will guide you through creating an original piece of artwork. Reservations are required, tickets $46.00 includes supplies and a glass of wine. Details at www.conamiciwine.com or by calling 608-355-9563.
Reserve a guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.