If you or your dad is a history enthusiast, celebrate Father’s Day 2013 by attending the Civil War Re-enactment in Sauk City, Wis., June 15–16, 2013. And treat yourselves to a stay at the bed and breakfast closest to Sauk Prairie, the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
The Sauk City Historic Preservation Committee will host for the 10th year one of the largest Civil War re-enactments and encampments in Wisconsin, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Musket fire, cannon booms and clanking metal from blacksmiths’ anvils will fill the air throughout the Sauk City Historic Park and August Derleth Park, both on Water Street in Sauk City.
You can relive the 1860s clash between the North and South by watching hundreds of soldiers, cavalry, infantry and artillery during two authentic battles daily, among other activities and displays depicting civilian life, politics and economics of this period. Call 608-643-4168 with questions.
Reserve a guest room soon because summer weekends are now filling quickly.
Click on the Check Availability box at the top of this page or call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room.
More Events Father’s Day Weekend:
- June 14: Friday Night Fish Fry at Devil’s Lake State Park, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., at the north shore Chateau, by Baraboo’s Elite Catering. $10 per person for two pieces of fish and one piece of chicken with three side dishes. Dine inside or outside. June 7–August 30.
- June 14: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A 90-minute guided tour paddling Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore, five minutes west of the Inn. The first half hour is to gather and learn how to use kayaks. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 if needed. To register contact the Chateau (North Shore Concessions) at 608-356-3381.
- June 14: Arsenic And Old Lace at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:00 p.m., a fund-raiser for the theatre. Tentatively a 1940s car display, and lecture and discussion of the era before the show. Tickets: $12.00. Call 608-356-8864 or visit alringling.com.
- June 15: Historic Walking Tour of Baraboo, Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Stroll through Baraboo’s historic downtown, following the Ringling Brothers’ footsteps. Meet at the Coffee Bean Connection, 701 Oak Street, Baraboo. $7.00/person. Call 608-963-2821 with questions.
- June 15: Big Band Dance In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park’s north shore Chateau, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Dance to the big-band sounds of The Hal Edwards Orchestra in Wisconsin’s most romantic dance pavilion. Tickets: $10.00.
- June 15: Arsenic And Old Lace at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:00 p.m. Details above.
- June 15: Explore The Night Sky, Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 8:15 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore boat launch parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn. Join the Madison Astronomy Society to learn about the night sky. Telescopes will be available to view the moon and winter constellations. Informal program, come anytime.
- June 15: Universe In The Park, Mirror Lake Sate Park, Lake Delton, dusk. Slide show, discussion and explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Telescopes will be available to view the night sky. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
- June 16: A Salute To Fathers at Wollersheim Winery 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Winery open for tours and tasting plus fathers receive a complimentary tour when accompanied by their family.
- June 16: History Hike: South Shore Hotels at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Meet at the south shore Red Cedar Shelter, seven minutes west of the Inn, to go back in time and imagine what it would have been like to stay in one of the Park’s hotels.
- June 16: Arsenic And Old Lace at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m. Details above.
Two favorite summer events at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis., resume June 7 and 8, 2013: the weekly Friday Night Fish Fry In The Park and Big Band Dance In The Park Saturday evenings.
Baraboo’s Elite Catering & Bakery will again prepare and serve its tasty fish and chicken with a changing array of side dishes every Friday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 7 through Aug. 30, 2013. You’ll find their outdoor kitchen in front of the historic Chateau at the Park’s north shore. Enjoy dinner on the shore indoors or outside under the towering oaks. Tickets are $10.00 per person.
Big Band Dance In The Park
Saturday evenings June 8 through Aug. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, from 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m., kick up your heels or sit back and relish the big-band sounds of The Hal Edwards Orchestra. For 10 years this favorite local band has filled the Chateau’s dance pavilion along the north shore with 1940s music.
Guests have thoroughly enjoyed dancing late into summer evenings in this romantic pavilion. Tickets are $10.00 per person.
For both events you’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker. You can purchase a day sticker or annual pass as you enter the north shore of Devil’s Lake State Park, five minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
Reserve your favorite guest room at the Inn at Wawanissee Point soon. Summer weekends at the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park are filling fast.
Click on the Check Availability box at the top of this page or call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room.
Learn about events at Devil’s Lake State Park at the park events page of the Devil’s Lake State Park Visitors’ Guide at www.devilslakewisconsin.com.
For questions about Park events, call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected].
The second weekend of June 2013 is full of events around Baraboo. Stay with us while you enjoy:
June 6: Shawni Soulful Melodies performs for the spring concert series at the Baraboo Public Library, Baraboo, 7:00 p.m. Admission is free.
June 7–8: Annual Art That Blooms, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Portage. Art exhibits by locals artists paired with fresh floral arrangements by area florists will transform the Drury Gallery. Learn more here.
June 7: Learn About Bats at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Northern Lights Camground’s outdoor amphitheater to learn about Wisconsin’s bat species, myths and challenges bats are facing. Presented by the Wisconsin Bat Program.
June 7: Universe In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 9:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Northern Lights Camground’s outdoor amphitheater. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers.
June 8: Historic Walking Tour, Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Stroll through Baraboo’s historic downtown, following the Ringling Brothers footsteps. Meet at the Coffee Bean Connection, 701 Oak Street. $7.00/person. Call 608-963-2821 with questions.
June 8–9: Taste of Wisconsin Dells, downtown Wisconsin Dells. Saturday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Samples from more than 20 area restaurants, lively entertainment, beer tent with Wisconsin microbrews, expanded arts and craft show, classic corvette parade. Details at www.tasteofthedells.com.
Circus World Museum’s summer performance season begins Saturday, May 18, 2013. The lively entertainment at this National Historic Landmark will occur daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Sept. 2, 2013.
The all-new Big Top Show in the Hippodrome includes a few familiar faces with new tricks up their sleeves, including magical entertainer Tristan Crist with his dynamic Theatre of Illusion. Young and old will enjoy Roger the clown, hilarious monkeys, acrobats on trampolines, jaw-dropping contortionists, an elephant, horses and juggling unicyclists. Plus, the Royal Afghan Champions, beautiful dogs. You’ll catch yourself laughing and wondering with the youngsters in the audience.
The grounds are the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters and one of Wisconsin Historical Society’s 10 historic sites. This engaging history museum also includes a large collection of authentic circus wagons, advertising posters, memorabilia from past Big Top performances and more.
Opening weekend features the 90-minute Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 18 and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19. This Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders re-enactment with an array of Western characters features cowboys and cowgirls, trick riding, roping and shooting, an authentic Gatlin-gun demonstration, Texas longhorns, a stagecoach hold-up, bank robbery and more. Will Buffalo Bill save the day? This special show repeats July 27 and 28, 2013.
Circus World is open when it’s raining; many activities are under a tent or in a building.
Learn more at circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org.
The Cookhouse Grill on the grounds offers sandwiches and circus treats. Or pack a picnic lunch and sit beside the free-flowing Baraboo River. Get your hand stamped and walk a few blocks to dine in one of many cafés in historic downtown Baraboo.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is 10 minutes south of Circus World Museum.
Book your guest room today. Weekends in May are filling quickly! Call us at 608-355-9899.
Other Events May 17–19, 2013
May 17: Heron Rookery Watch at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Meet at the group-camp parking lot near the south shore entrance, less than 10 minutes west of the Inn. A spotting scope and binoculars will be available to watch adult herons in their nests. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail SusanA.Johansen@wisconsin.gov with questions.
May 18: Art & Bloom Fest at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, five minutes east of the Inn, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local artists demonstrating their art and selling it, authors signing books, food for sale. Stroll the grounds to admire the blooms. Family historian James Gardener who wrote a forward with new information about the Durward family for the recently re-released Anuls of the Glen originally written by Wilfrid Durward will be signing the new edition.
May 18: Frog Safari at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn. Hike the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds where you’ll listen for spring peepers, and chorus and grey tree frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail SusanA.Johansen@wisconsin.gov with questions.
May 18–19: Automotion 2013, Wisconsin Dells, 20 minutes north of the Inn. 1,200 beautifully restored classic cars displayed. Swap meet, concessions, live entertainment. May 18: car cruise along a new rural route 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Big Sky Twin Drive-in Theatre feature show at dusk.
Treat mom to a weekend of pampering at the Inn at Wawanissee Point for a perfect Mother’s Day. In four weeks we’ll be honoring our moms on May 12, 2013. Make your gift plans now!
- Collaborate with dad to surprise mom with a romantic weekend you’ve arranged for Mother’s Day.
- Create and print a custom gift certificate at our Web site for mom to plan her getaway.
- Bring the family for an adult retreat to celebrate with mom.
At the Inn mom can :
- relax by the fireplace with a book, or in the hammock overlooking the prairie if it warms enough
- stroll our garden paths in bloom
- watch colorful migrating birds return to our feeders like indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles, humming birds and more
- hike our private wooded and prairie trails
- celebrate at evening wine and cheese before dinner at a nearby restaurant
- savor Trudy’s gourmet breakfast served overlooking the expansive valley
Splurge for an in-room massage or an array of pampering services at Baraboo’s day spa, Spa Serenity, 10 minutes from here.
For nature-loving moms, area events Mother’s Day weekend include lawn chair bird watching, an evening bird hike and a paddling tour of Mirror Lake. Also May 10–12, 2013 are a musical performance, Baraboo’s annual craft faire on the square, special train rides, an event at Wollersheim Winery and Circus World Museum is open with a spring performance. Plus the Baraboo Farmers’ Market will be open with bedding plants, new-crop maple syrup, early produce and more.
Reserve mom’s favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
May 10: 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 in which he performs. No advance ticket sales, donations are appreciated to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more at www.riverartsonwater.org.
May 10: Evening Bird Hike at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Spend the evening hiking West Bluff trail looking for spring migrants. Wear hiking boots and bring binoculars. The first part of the trail is a short, steep climb. Meet at the north shore’s nature center. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
May 11: Lawn Chair Bird Watching at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Bring a lawn chair, binoculars and a thermos of coffee. We’ll watch for meadow larks, sandhill cranes, red-winged black birds and more. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
May 11: 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 11: Kayak/Canoe Tour of Mirror Lake State Park, Lake Delton, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. A geological and historical paddle through time on this peaceful lake with your park guide. Meet at the boat launch. Rentals are available. 20 minutes from the Inn. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
May 11–12: Mother’s Day Brunch And Dinner Trains at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom. May 11 first-class service at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., and dinner train at 6:30 p.m. Brunch service on May 12, departing at 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Reservations and details at www.mcrwy.com.
May 12: A Salute To Mothers at Wollersheim Winery 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Winery open for tours and tasting. Mothers receive a complimentary tour when accompanied by their family.
American Players Theatre’s 2013 season opens June 8 and continues through Oct. 20. Enjoy classical theatre in this outdoor amphitheater in the woods in Spring Green, Wis. The meandering 55-minute drive along the Lower Wisconsin River Road, Scenic Byway 60, from the Inn at Wawanissee Point is a charming prelude to an enchanting evening of professional theatre under the stars.
The little more than 1,100 seats in this natural acoustical bowl in the state’s driftless region—the country’s second largest outdoor, classical theatre—offer a unique sensory experience you’ll not forget. Picnic on the grounds before the show, as hundreds of others do.
Tickets for new customers go on sale Monday, April 15, 2013. If you’re a patron, you’ve been able to buy 2013 tickets since March 4. Plan now and buy tickets soon or you may not get them.
Outdoor performances this year include: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Too Many Husbands, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and All My Sons in rotating repertory with Dickens in America, Molly Sweeny, and Antony and Cleopatra in the Touchstone Theatre, a 201-seat indoor venue at the bottom of the hill between prairie and woods.
Purchase tickets online and learn more about American Players Theatre at www.americanplayers.org.
Then reserve a guest room by clicking here, or click on the Check Availability box at the top the page or call us at 608-355-9899.
Romance will soon fill the air when spring peepers begin singing, but the American woodcock’s aerial courtship display will add another dimension. Visit Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis., this spring for a rare opportunity to view this disproportionately shaped bird’s unusual mating ritual.
Friday evening, April 26, 2013, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., join Devil’s Lake State Park’s naturalist to watch for male American woodcocks dancing in the air and singing to attract females. Bring a lawn chair, blanket and binoculars, and meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
- You’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker. Purchase a day or annual pass at the north shore of the Park.
Also known as the Timberdoodle, the woodcock lives in young forests and shrubby areas near wetlands, streams and rivers. It uses its long, flexible bill to dig for earthworms. The kettle ponds, creek and brushy habitat along the mature forest edge in the Steinke Basin area of Devil’s Lake State Park offer the Timberdoodle a good home.
Once plentiful, the woodcock population across eastern North America has declined steadily by 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.
This usually silent and excellently camouflaged, plump, neckless bird about 10 inches long is difficult to spot and seldom seen as it combs through muddy thickets probing for worms. The wary bird becomes nearly invisible as it freezes in place when its large eyes spot danger. But in early spring at dusk it offers us the special treat to view the male’s spiraling aerial display alternated with a rhythmic, buzzy peent sound.
The male will peent repeatedly while bobbing around on the ground, fly upward in a spiral as high as 300 feet and then zig-zag 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.
- Listen to the Timberdoodle’s vocalizations and see photos at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Web site here.
Looking For Woodcocks In Baraboo
Around the Inn, red-winged black birds, robins and Eastern phoebes have returned as of April 5, 2013, besides geese and sandhill cranes. Spring migration is unfolding in earnest.
Woodcocks were reported in northeastern states a few weeks ago, so the elusive birds may have already returned to Baraboo. Hike through shrubby edges of the Merrimac Preserve and Roznos Meadow, east of the Park, for additional opportunities to view the Timberdoodle, besides Steinke Basin.
Afterward, rest peacefully at the Inn at Wawanissee Point, the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park.
Reserve a guest room here, or click on the Check Availability box at the top the page or call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room.
More Bird Watching Events At Devil’s Lake State Park
April 24: Bird Watching Along East Bluff, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore at the East Bluff trailhead kiosk, five minutes west of the Inn. Bring binoculars. We’ll hike up this trail to see which birds have returned from their winter hiatus.
April 27: Spring Photography Hike, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s nature center, 5 minutes west of the Inn, to learn about digital photography. Bring your camera; we’ll go looking for spring beauty throughout the park.
April 27: Twilight Hike, 7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to explore the world of crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn) and nocturnal animals. As the sun sets we’ll search and listen for critters on the move at night.
May 3: Evening Bird Hike, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. With spring in full swing, many birds have returned to the Baraboo Hills. Spend the evening on a challenging hike on the CCC trail, one of the park’s steeper trails, looking for spring migrants. Wear hiking boots and bring binoculars. Meet at the group-camp parking lot near the south shore entrance, less than 10 minutes southwest of the Inn.
For questions about events at the Park, call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Join Wisconsin chef Brad Neuendorf in the Carr Valley Cooking School kitchen Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to prepare an extravaganza of April Flavors. Artichokes, watercress, peas, lamb, arugula and a variety of cheeses are featured in the spring-themed dishes you’ll make and sample. Strawberry crepes with maple vanilla syrup crown this melt-in-your mouth menu.
Neuendorf, a Wisconsin native, recently returned to the dairy state and opened Freddy Valentine’s Public House restaurant and pub in Spring Green, Wis., where he uses locally grown food to feature highlights from his culinary journey through Colorado, New Mexico, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, Calif.
Reserve your spot in April Flavors and learn more about this season’s cooking classes by visiting www.carrvalleycheese.com. Tickets are $55.00 per person. Don’t wait; classes are popular and often fill fast.
Carr Valley Cheese Company’s classes are held in its state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen at its retail store in Sauk City, Wis., 15 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point. Mingle 30 minutes before class and afterward purchase cheese to take home.
Come celebrate spring and Earth Day with us. The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to the Carr Valley Cooking School.
Book a guest room today. Click on the Check Availability box at the top of this page or call us at 608-355-9899.
Spring Fun In April:
April 15: International Crane Foundation opens for the season, daily 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Baraboo, 15 minutes north of the Inn. Guided tour, hiking, gift shop and more. Visit www.savingcranes.org.
April 15: Aldo Leopold Center opens for the season, Monday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5 p.m., nine miles northeast of Baraboo. An educational and interpretive facility in a new, renewable-energy-powered building, one of the greenest in the world, near the Leopold shack. Exhibits, self-guided and guided tours of the center, farm and shack. More at www.aldoleopold.org.
April 17: Devil’s Lake State Park Trail Trek Through Parfrey’s Glen, Baraboo, adjacent the Inn, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Spend an early spring afternoon hiking through this sandstone gorge anomaly in the Baraboo Hills. If the stream is high the trail can be a bit wet; wear appropriate footwear. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn more about the state’s first natural here.
April 19: Heron Watch at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Meet at the group-camp parking lot near the south shore entrance, less than 10 minutes southwest of the Inn, to watch adult herons building nests. A spotting scope and binoculars will be available. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
April 19: Fourth Annual Kegs & Corks at the Baraboo Elks Club, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Wine and beer tasting hosted by the Baraboo Rotary. Tickets: $30. Contact Josh at 608-403-5548.
April 19: An Evening With Curt Meine at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Local conservationist Curt Meine will entertain with his guitar, vocals and a conservation discussion to celebrate Earth Day. World-touring guitarist, composer and acoustic ecologist Chris Bocast joins Meine for a delightful evening. No advance ticket sales, donations are recommended at the door to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more at www.riverartsonwater.org.
April 20: Spring Bike Prep at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s nature center, five minutes west of the Inn, to learn from Wildside Adventure Sport’s bike specialist how to fix a flat tire, keep your bike’s brakes and gears lubricated, and other tips for maintaining your bicycle for a season of riding. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
April 20: Frog Safari at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to hike the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds where we’ll listen for spring peepers, and wood and chorus frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
After a change to a Wisconsin law in 2009 allowing wineries to again have licenses for wine and distilled spirits, Wollersheim Winery is distilling brandy for the first time in nearly 100 years. Wollersheim will release its new, 100-percent Wisconsin Coquard Brandy on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
During the 1800s wineries used brandy to fortify wine for transport. Wollersheim Winery made wine and brandy then, shipping its wine as far as Maine. The winery stopped making wine and brandy in 1919 due to the Prohibition. After the Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, Wisconsin allowed wineries to resume making wine only.
Wollersheim produces a white-grape wine from LaCrosse and St. Pepin grapes grown in Wisconsin to make its Coquard Brandy. Winemaker Philippe Coquard distills the wine in a Portuguese copper-pot still and then ages the brandy for two years in Wisconsin oak barrels, which gives it an amber color. Wollersheim’s brandy has a delicate and floral aroma from the grapes.
Brandy Available Only In Person
Come to the brandy release April 13 to sample the first batch of Coquard Brandy and purchase a bottle to take home. Wisconsin law doesn’t allow Wollersheim to ship its brandy, so you must purchase it at the winery. And since it only produced six barrels of this first vintage, Wollersheim is limiting sales to one bottle per household and two bottles per Caseclub member. Wollersheim doubled production for the second batch.
April 13 Event Festivities
- Barrel-making demonstration by cooper (barrel maker) Francis Durand at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
- Self-guided tour from the vineyard to the underground limestone aging-cellar explains the brandy-making process.
- Music performed by The Wild Trio from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Wine and brandy tasting along the self-guided tour route.
- Admission is free.
Learn more at www.wollersheim.com.
Reserve a room today for Wollersheim’s brandy release and enjoy the spring bird migration. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click Check Availability at the top of the page. The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to Wollersheim Winery, 15 minutes through the Lake Wisconsin valley.
Baraboo Birding Events
April 13: Annual Midwest Crane Count, 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Join 3,000 volunteers in six states to count cranes during migration. Contact Sauk County’s crane count coordinator, Roy Franzen, at 608-356-8948. Learn more at www.savingcranes.org.
April 13: Lawn Chair Duck Watch, Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Bring a lawn chair, binoculars and a thermos of coffee for this early-morning bird watch near the south shore boat launch. We’ll watch ducks, coots, loons and gulls, and hopefully an osprey or eagle. Meet at the south shore boat launch, less than 10 minutes west of the Inn. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
April 15: International Crane Foundation opens for the season, Baraboo, 15 minutes north of the Inn. Take a guided tour of the world’s 15 crane species residing here, hike the restored prairie, a gift shop and more. Visit www.savingcranes.org.
April 17: Devil’s Lake State Park Trail Trek Through Parfrey’s Glen, Baraboo, adjacent the Inn, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Spend an early spring afternoon hiking through this sandstone gorge anomaly in the Baraboo Hills. If the stream is high the trail can be a bit wet, so wear appropriate footwear. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn more about the state’s first natural here.
At 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 6, 2013, a single sandhill crane circled above the upland marsh between Tower and Bluff Roads across from Wawanissee Point in the Baraboo Bluffs. Its lone call reverberated over the near foot of fluffy snow that fell the day before.
Could this be one of the young reared here last summer? Or might it be one of the adults returning without its mate? The coming days may reveal the answer.
The crane’s return to the marsh signals spring’s arrival and the beginning of the spring bird migration, for us at the Inn at Wawanissee Point. We also heard geese overhead the evening before as the snowstorm was dwindling.
Robins, red winged blackbirds and perhaps a hearty bluebird will be next. Schedule a spring birding vacation soon.
The contiguous, mixed hardwood forests in the Baraboo Range host 135 breeding bird species, which you can see from many hiking trails and by car.
Birding By Car
Closest to the Inn, drive along Steinke Basin near Devil’s Lake State Park’s north shore, South Shore Road through the Park’s south end, and Roznos Meadow and the Merrimac Preserve along Marsh Road and State Highway 113.
Baxter’s Hollow State Natural Area, seven miles west of U.S. Highway 12, is another spot where you can view birds by car or on foot, along Stone Pocket Road. Drive further west into central Sauk County to meander Rustic Roads Orchard, Schara and Ruff to see more birds. For more suggestions to bird by car near the Inn, see the late Harold Kruse’s article at The Nature Conservancy’s Web site, and download his birding map.
The Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the Wisconsin River nine miles northeast of Baraboo offers another ecosystem in which to see many migrating bird species while driving Levee Road, another Rustic Road.
Spring 2013 may present an uncommon opportunity to see early spring migration by snowshoe, since the March 5 storm further fortified the thick snow cover around Baraboo, Wis. Come now to enjoy the last x-county skiing and snowshoeing.
Annual Midwest Crane Count
Regardless of the weather, about 3,000 volunteers will arise early Saturday, April 13, 2013 to help count cranes during migration in six states from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. If you’d like to help count cranes during a spring birding vacation in Baraboo, contact Sauk County’s crane count coordinator, Roy Franzen, at 608-356-8948. Afterward enjoy Trudy’s hearty breakfast.
Learn more about the Annual Midwest Crane Count here.
Reserve a guest room for your spring getaway. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click Check Availability at the top of the page.
Spring officially begins in 21 days on March 20, 2013. Join us at the Inn at Wawanissee Point for a weekend getaway to welcome and celebrate spring 2013. There is a nice array of area entertainment to refresh you.
Though we received eight inches of snow yesterday, our minds are thinking green. Experience assures us we can look forward to a number of changes in the next few weeks.
- Sandhill cranes usually return before the spring equinox to begin searching for nest sights in the marsh across the road from the Inn. (Last year they arrived Feb. 29, 10 days ahead of their typical arrival!)
- Spring peepers usually first emerge from the thawing mud around the first day of spring, filling their air with a romantic chorus.
- Robins and geese arrive in the first wave of spring migration often before the spring equinox.
Whether we have snow or warming soil on our trails as spring arrives, you are welcome to meander our gardens and woods to watch spring unfold. Take a spring hike on your favorite trails nearby at Devil’s Lake State Park, the state natural areas or the Merrimac Preserve. Bring your boots!
- Relax in the warmth of our sunroom and watch the growing array of entertaining wildlife at our bird feeders.
- Schedule an in-room couples’ massage to rejuvenate during your spring break.
Drive Levee Road, which 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. A breeding-bird survey here by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and volunteer citizen-scientists identified 117 breeding species and at least 40 migrating bird species. One of the nation’s distinguished ornithologists, Stanley Temple, called this area his favorite place to watch birds during spring migration. Though much of the land in this Important Bird Area is privately owned, you will find excellent birding along the 11 miles of Rustic Road 49. There is some public land where you can explore. Bring your binoculars.
Come early to enjoy Circus World Museum’s spring performance season open weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., March 4 through May 17, 2013. Magician Tristan Crist offers live weekday performances of his Theatre of Illusion show at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Also see the Circus Cinema giant screen theater, Ringling exhibits, circus poster gallery and Siemor Bros. Miniature Circus, and tour historic buildings. Learn more here.
Join us March 20–24, 2013 for a spring break. Reserve a guest room today. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click Check Availability at the top of the page.
March 21: Joint Artist Presentation at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 6:30 p.m. Commercial illustrator and caricature artist Rick Nass, and Carrie Scherpelz, a Picasiette (mosaics) artist. Free admission but donations are welcome to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. More at www.riverartsonwater.org.
March 22: Camerata String Quartet at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. A four-person ensemble of local, professional musicians that has played at numerous noteworthy events. No advance ticket sales; donations are appreciated at the door to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Details at www.riverartsonwater.org.
March 22: Drumming With Bill Kehl at The Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., a locally owned bookstore in historic downtown Baraboo with new, used and rare books, refreshments and more. Details at villagebooksmith.com.
March 22: High Noon at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m., Tickets: $7.50. Part of the Theatre’s new Classic Western Series, this 1952 movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly won four Oscars. Tickets at www.alringling.com.
March 23: Nature Mapping: Birds at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn, to learn how to use a nature mapping program to track wildlife in your yard or favorite park or hiking spot. The program concludes outside looking for birds that live at the park and collecting data. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
March 23: High Noon at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
March 24: High Noon at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 3:00 p.m.
It’s the third week of February 2013 and a thick blanket of snow still covers the Baraboo Hills around the Inn at Wawanissee Point. We’ll receive five more inches of snow by Friday night, Feb. 22, refreshing the trails for winter sports and laying a new canvas for critter tracking.
If you enjoy an invigorating and peaceful trek through the woods and prairies in winter, you have a couple more weeks to schedule your final winter getaway.
- Spring officially begins in one month. By then spring peepers will be singing, the cranes will have returned and the spring migration will be underway.
Wildlife tracks crisscross like a maze now. Coyotes have been mating and are on the move. Squirrels have started courting, making the scene at bird feeders more entertaining as they chase around the tree trunks until you’d think they would be dizzy.
Large groups of wild turkeys are moving around more, especially since it’s harder digging through the deep snow. They are frequenting backyard bird feeders more often, and starting to show signs of romance.
- From the warmth of the sunroom, watch the turkeys, winter birds and squirrels at our feeders.
- Use our snowshoes for snow walking the Inn’s 42 acres.
- Bring warm, sturdy boots to snow hike your favorite trails at Devil’s Lake State Park, the Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve or the state natural areas in Sauk County.
- Great horned owls are breeding now. Venture through the nearby state natural areas and you’re apt to spot a nest, such as along the sheltered gorge in Pewit’s Nest.
Tree trunks starkly contrast against the bright white snow, accentuating the textures and colors of their bark, now more noticeable without canopy or understory foliage to distract your eye. Deep, gnarled crevices of near ebony, flakey silver over dark grey, smooth grey dotted with grey-green lichens, and wispy curls of brown. Red twig dogwood with its tender green tips cheerfully interrupts the shades of black and white, its linear, intersecting branches artwork in the landscape. Even the berry canes push a smile to your lips; their bright purplish skin jumps off the snow, overshadowing the still pesky thorns. Did you realize winter was so colorful and textured?
Shoe And Ski
Snowshoe the hiking trails in the state parks. Rent snowshoes and poles, and X-country ski sets by the day at Wildside Adventure Sports in Baraboo, Wis.
Cross-country ski Devil’s Lake State Park’s more than 5 miles of groomed trails and Mirror Lake State Park’s 18 miles of skiing trails. Break a fresh trail through the Merrimac Preserve.
Book your last winter weekend getaway at our secluded mini resort soon. And bring your camera. Call us at 608-355-9899 or click Check Availability at the top of the page.
Friday, March 1: Shari Sarazin Celtic Harp at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Details at www.riverartsonwater.org
March 1: The Wilder Deitz Trio jazz performance at The Village Booksmith, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. More at villagebooksmith.com
March 2–3: Wollersheim Winery’s Open House, Prairie du Sac, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. www.wollersheim.com.
March 8: Second Friday Poetry readings at The Village Booksmith, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. Details at villagebooksmith.com.
Carr Valley Cheese Company kicks off its sixth cooking-school season of chef and pairing classes on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Spaces are still available to join Sundara Inn and Spa’s chef, John Williams, for Wellness Cuisine, preparing fresh, satisfyingly delicious and good-for-you food across four seasons, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 9.
Carr Valley Cheese Company’s classes are held in its state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen at its retail store in Sauk City, Wis., 15 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point. Participants spend two and a half hours with distinguished chefs and cooking instructors from around the country learning to prepare distinctive dishes with award-winning Carr Valley cheeses. You get to eat the food made in class, enjoy some wine and leave with the chef’s recipes. Mingle 30 minutes before class, and afterward purchase cheese to take home.
Register now to prepare and enjoy blue cheese cheesecake with poached pears and honey, roasted beet skewers with goat cheese and more with chef Williams on March 9. Admission is $55.00 per person.
The cooking school season runs through October. Classes fill quickly so register early.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to the Carr Valley Cooking School. Join us for a spring weekend getaway.
Book a guest room by clicking on the Check Availability box at the top of this page or call us at 608-355-9899.
March 8, 2013: Second Friday Poetry at The Village Booksmith, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. A locally owned bookstore on the historic courthouse square that hosts an evening of poetry readings by local authors and anyone else who joins the open mic. Learn more at villagebooksmith.com.
March 8–10, 2013: 20th Annual Bike-o-Rama at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., southern Wisconsin’s largest bicycle expo. Admission is free. Biking season is around the corner. Stop on your way to or from the Inn to replenish your biking accessories, buy a new bike or get your bike serviced.
Kick off March and the countdown to spring by attending Wollersheim Winery’s annual open house Saturday and Sunday, March 2–3, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The two-day event feature’s the modern and historic aspects of this 40-year-old winery in Prairie du Sac, Wis., one of the oldest in the country. Tour the underground aging cellars and the modern fermentation facilities, plus other production areas normally closed to the public at the 2012 Winery Of The Year. See bottling demonstrations and interactive displays, and take self-guided tours.
Winemaker Philippe Coquard will speak and give a grapevine pruning demonstrations daily, including one pruning demonstration in the vineyard on Saturday. Learn how to incorporate different Wollersheim wines in your culinary creations during several cooking demonstrations.
Sample wines and purchase wine by the case to take home. The local meat market and deli, Wyttenbach Meats, will sell lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
If the ground is still frozen and snow covered there is a great possibility of seeing bald eagles from Wollersheim’s outdoor eagle-watching shelter.
To see the daily schedule and for more details visit www.wollersheim.com.
Then join us at the Inn’s Indigo Lounge for our wine and cheese hour where we always feature Wollersheim’s wines with Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, among other delicious nibbles.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to Wollersheim Winery, an easy 15-minute drive through the Lake Wisconsin valley.
Friday, March 1: Shari Sarazin Celtic Harp at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. She’ll play and sing along to an abundant collection of ancient Celtic tunes to original melodies honed during her 40-year musical career. There are no advance ticket sales; donations are recommended at the door to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more at www.riverartsonwater.org.
The Jan. 30, 2013 storm covered the Baraboo Bluffs with nearly 12 inches of snow, slightly less below the bluff, restoring the landscape for winter-sport enthusiasts. Temperatures dropped as it snowed Wednesday, topping the moist snow blanket from earlier in the day with fluffy powder.
The snow coated the countryside like thick frosting, creating fun opportunities for winter photography. Piles of snow hinted tones of blue. Critter tracks are plentiful, especially now that coyotes are entering their breeding season. Click here for some winter photographer tips from a Wisconsin photographer.
The snow arrived in time to assure the candlelight ski, snowshoe and hike at Mirror Lake State Park on Saturday, Feb. 2, and the guided snowshoe through Fern Del Gorge at the Park Feb. 16. And the Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s Snow Train™ Valentine’s Day weekend will be even prettier. You’ll find details about these events in our articles on Jan. 3, Jan. 10 and Jan. 18.
If you prefer the winter scenery from behind a window in warmth:
- Amble along Sauk County’s three Rustic Roads. Bring your camera.
- Soak up warmth in our sunroom while watching the winter birds feeding.
- Snuggle beside the fireplaces.
- Take a sauna.
- Ease your stressed muscles in our Shiatsu massage chair, or reserve an in-room massage.
Our snowshoes are ready for you to explore our 42 acres, through which we have three miles of trails with interesting points to ponder.
Within five minutes from the Inn’s door you’ll find trails for hiking (and critter tracking), snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at:
- Devil’s Lake State Park: more than five miles of groomed X-country ski trails beginning in the Steinke Basin meadow on county road DL
- Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve: 1,800 acres adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park with four miles of National Scenic Ice Age Trail
- State natural areas like Parfrey’s Glen, Pewit’s Nest, McGilvra Woods and 23 others in Sauk County.
Schedule a romantic getaway at our secluded mini resort in Baraboo’s winter wonderland. Reserve a room, gather your warm clothes and pack the camera. Call us at 608-355-9899. We’ll get the wine and cheese ready.
The last few days we’ve received light dustings of snow, and almost an inch on Jan. 25, 2013. While it’s not enough for snowshoeing and doesn’t improve the cross-country skiing trails much, it creates an engaging canvas for winter hiking. If you haven’t trekked through the woods or prairies in winter, you’re missing a treat. We encourage you to visit soon and discover the beauty, quiet and entertainment a winter’s hike through the Baraboo Bluffs offers.
The forest is enveloped in a blanket of peacefulness like in no other season. Much of the natural world is sleeping, waiting for warmer temperatures. Opossums, raccoons, foxes and the bear are snug in their dens, but smaller mammals and winter birds are on the move.
The fresh snow reveals the flurry of activity in our natural landscapes that we often don’t notice. A keen tracker you needn’t be to get lost in your thoughts as you ponder what the critters were thinking as they scurried ahead of you.
Squirrel prints abound as they attempted to find their fall stashes of nuts, by smell or memory, or both? They left a dusting of brown atop the snow from digging through the frozen soil to unearth their buried treasure. Occasionally a rabbit emerged from its hollow log or pile of brush and brambles to hunt for some seeds, nuts or blades of grass, desperate for fuel to keep warm without the blanket of snow to insulate its nest. On its heels the coyote sniffed for a winter feast, if he’s lucky, showing his dexterity as he scampered over fallen logs and slippery quartzite sprinkled with snow.
Diminutive, meandering mounds through the snow mark a field mouse’s journey, painting the canvas with a miniature maze. How cold its nose must be pushing these tunnels in search of food, hoping the hawks don’t notice.
You find the fawn’s tracks beside the adult deer, then a persistent and loud peeping pulls your eyes skyward. After combing the bare, twisting branches you find the source, a female hairy woodpecker. Is she unhappy you’ve disturbed her or greeting you?
A bewilderingly huge pile of shavings at the base of a dying oak first makes you wonder who was out here with a chisel or axe, then draws your eye up to marvel at the precisely hewn cavity where insects no longer slumber, but owls, wood ducks and bats may move in. Then the unmistakable hammering echo of a pileated woodpecker reminds you whose handiwork you’re admiring.
As you amble, the pitch of the pileated’s drumming changes, signaling its move to a different tree. If you linger toward dusk, the great horned owls’ soothing hoots and coyotes’ eerie barking further interrupt the hush, highlighting an irony of winter’s tranquility.
Eventually you realize you’ve lost track of time, left the commotion of your daily grind far behind, and your stresses slipped away while you marveled at the wild harmony. The crisp air cleansed your lungs and rejuvenated your step. A relaxing calm now enveloping you nourishes your soul.
If you’re lucky, it will start snowing, big, fluffy flakes slowly drifting, just right to catch on your tongue.
What are you waiting for? Book a room, pack warm clothes and boots, and hit the road for quick but restorative getaway at the Inn at Wawanisse Point. We’ll take care of the rest. Call us at 608-355-9899.