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Indian Ceremonial Returns To Wisconsin Dells

After an 18-year absence the Ho-Chunk Nation has this summer resumed its renowned Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial renamed the Wasira Show (Wa-she-rda), which is the Ho-Chunk word meaning dance, at its Ho-Chunk Gaming facility between Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells, Wis. At 6:00 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings until Sept. 3, 2015, in the Ho-Chunk Gaming hotel’s award-winning atrium, the public can again see this rich cultural ceremony, and there is no admission.

Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial Drummers, singers and dancers entertain with the beauty and pageantry of traditional and modern regalia. You’ll learn about the Ho-Chunk people’s culture and heritage, through their deep respect for Mother Earth reflected in their songs and dances. Elliott Funmaker Sr., the show’s coordinator and master of ceremonies, will describe the regalia and explain the cultural history. This is the only American Indian show in central Wisconsin.

The Ceremonial includes a grand entry, military song, men’s and women’s dances, grass dancers, the Fancy Dance and the ever-winding Snake Dance. A two-step show where dancers invite partners from audience concludes the event.

The Ho-Chunk Nation, once known as the Winnebago tribe by the European fur traders, began its Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial in 1919 at the tribe’s traditional gathering place Stand Rock in Wisconsin Dells to address tourists’ curiosity, who were coming to the area in part due to H. H. Bennett’s remarkable landscape photography that promoted the area’s natural beauty. For 78 years until 1997 the public observed highlights of dances from the Ho-Chunk, Sioux, Kiowa and southwestern American Indian tribes. Read more about the Ceremonial’s history here and this article by the School For Advanced Research.

Ho-Chunk Gaming – Wisconsin Dells executive manager James Webster said the Nation decided to host the cultural dance again to address the public’s renewed and growing interest in American Indian culture and to transfer its culture from its elders to the younger tribe members. Learn more about the event in this article in the Nation’s newspaper, Hocak Worak.

The Ho-Chunk Gaming-Wisconsin Dells facility is at S3214 County Rd. BD, Baraboo, about 15 minutes north of the Inn. Learn more about the facility and the event by visiting http://www.ho-chunkgaming.com/wisconsindells/ or calling 1-800-746-2486.

Reserve your guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

July 29–Aug. 2, 2015 Area Events

July 29: Aldo Leopold Memorial Reserve Guided Hike at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, nine miles northeast of Baraboo at E13701 Levee Rd. (Rustic Road 49), 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Five like-minded neighboring landowners created the Reserve in 1967, which allowed Leopold to implement his pioneering ecological restoration experiments. Leopold once wrote, “Conservation is a slow and laborious process unfolding of a new relationship between people and land.” Hike this property with the Center’s stewardship staff to learn about its history, land, plants and wildlife, including critical bird habitat. Admission is free. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

July 30: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Mad City Jug Band, hokum-jug favorites from the 1920s to 1960s. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/barabooconcertsonthesquare

July 30: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register and reserve a kayak call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Also July 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m., repeating weekly Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday through summer.

July 31: 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. $11.50 per person for two pieces of fish, one piece of chicken, and a choice of side dishes. Dine inside or outside. Every Friday night through summer.

Aug. 1: Merrimac Community Festival, Merrimac Memorial Park on the shore of Lake Wisconsin, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Arts and crafts, live music 3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., chicken barbeque 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., beverage tent, food venders, horseshoe pitching tournament, chicken drop game, live music by Cool Front, and waterski shows at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Aug. 1: Concert at Mirror Lake State Park, E10320 Fern Dell Road, between Baraboo and Lake Delton, 7:00 p.m., hosted by the Friends of Mirror Lake State Park. Tim Southwick Johnson performs in the new amphitheatre. Bring a blanket or a chair, and arrive early for the short, easy hike to the amphitheatre. Handicap parking is available. Admission is free but donations are welcome. A 2015 Wisconsin State Park admission sticker is required to enter the Park. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. For more information visit here.

Aug. 1: Songwriter Showcase at the Wisconsin Opry Theatre, E10964 Moon Rd., between Baraboo and Lake Delton, 8:00 p.m. An evening of original music performed by three Wisconsin musicians, singer-in-the-round style with each artist sharing stories and inspiration, featuring Shawndell Marks from Reedsburg, Beaumont James and Mark Croft. Tickets $10.00 in advance by calling 608-254-7951 or e-mailing [email protected], or $12.00 at the door.

Aug. 2: Movie Under The Stars At The Glen at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Rd., Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. story hour, movie at dusk, five minutes east of the Inn. A family-friendly movie under the stars amid. Local author Pam Quinlan reads from her books about the Glen with wonderful animal characters. If it’s raining the event will be held in the main dining hall. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Snacks for sale. Admission is free. For more information call 608-356-8113 and visit www.durwardsglen.org.

Pizza And Elegant Dinner Trains July 18 at Mid-Continent

The Mid-Continent Railway Museum, an outdoor living-history museum in the small, rural crossroads of North Freedom, Wis., 25 minutes west of the Inn at Wawanissee Point, is offering two new train rides on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Enjoy a Pizza Train or an Elegant Dinner Train, or both!

Pizza Train At 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Besides the regularly scheduled daytime coach trains, choose from two Pizza Trains. It includes the regular 55-minute ride in a 1915 steel coach along seven miles of former Chicago & North Western Railway track through the Baraboo Bluffs but with a choice from four kinds of 9-inch pizzas and beer or soda. Reservations are required. Tickets are $35.00. Learn more about this new offering at www.midcontinent.org.

Elegant Dinner Train At 5:30 p.m.

Indulge in first-class service and fine dining with a five-course meal and beverage choice presented by Chef Mike Althen of Elite Catering in Baraboo. Reservations are required. Tickets are $75.00 and $85.00. Arrive 25 minutes before departure. This trip lasts about 2.5 hours. Learn more about this dinner train at www.midcontinent.org.

Reserve tickets online at www.midcontinent.org or by calling 800-930-1385.

Daily Train Rides

Ride the train daily regardless of weather at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., coach, caboose and locomotive services, through Sept. 7, 2015, thereafter during weekends and special events. All trains depart from the restored wooden depot built in 1894, with docents dressed in authentic, period attire.

Reservations are not necessary for the daily summer rides.

Explore The Grounds

Step into railroading’s golden age from the 1880s to 1916 at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, where the short-line railroad experience of Midwestern small towns is recreated and preserved. Browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The grounds feature the depot, the Coach Shed filled with award-winning restored wooden passenger and freight cars, and displays from the turn of the 20th century in a historically accurate, rural railroad environment. In and around the Coach Shed are 13 steam locomotives; dozens of cabooses and passenger and freight cars; and service equipment, some restored and others in process or awaiting work.

Book a guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

Some Of The Area’s Events

July 16: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, Courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Thursday nights through Aug. 27, 2015. Performing tonight: Red Hot Dixie Jazz Band. Learn more at www.facebook.com/barabooconcertsonthesquare

July 16: Early American Medicine at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Join Mark Tully, one of Baraboo’s history enthusiasts, to learn about medicines and health practices from the early turn of the century. Many modern pharmaceuticals and medical procedures date back many centuries. Tully will explore causes of death from disease and how treating these diseases has changed society. Meet at the north shore’s Rock Elm Shelter.

July 17: Aldo Leopold Foundation Brown Bag Lunch: Food Activisim In Your Community, at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, E13701 Levee Rd. (Rustic Road 49), Baraboo, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Ali Berlow, author of The Food Activist Handbook; Big & Small Things You Can Do to Help Provide Fresh, Healthy Food for Your Community, will present. More details forthcoming; check here www.aldoleopold.org. Admission is free.

July 17: 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. $11.50 per person for two pieces of fish, one piece of chicken, and a choice of side dishes. Dine inside or outside. Every Friday night through summer.

July 18: Military Service Day at Circus World Museum, open daily 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. A touching tribute honoring all military branches featuring patriotic-themed circus wagons, special guest speakers, vocalists and more. All current active duty, reservists, veterans, spouses and families are admitted free for the day. See the daily schedule and Big Top performances here.

July 18: Kayak/Canoe Tour of Mirror Lake State Park, Lake Delton, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. A geological and historical paddle through time on this peaceful lake with your park guide. Meet at the boat launch. Variety of rentals are available from the concession stand, please arrive 15 minutes early to arrange. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn about the Park at here.

July 18: Witwen Concert At The Campground, County Road E, Witwen, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. The Dang-Its perform, its 17th year presenting bluegrass, country blues, originals and honky-tonk gems. The Dang-Its award-winning, off-the-beaten-track repertoire and soaring vocal harmonies connect with a wide audience. Grounds open at 4:00 p.m., food for sale at 4:30 p.m. and you are welcome to bring a picnic supper. Bring lawn chairs. If raining the concert is held in the tabernacle on the grounds. More details at www.witwenpc.com and www.dang-its.com. A pretty, 25-minute drive from the Inn.

July 18: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register and reserve a kayak call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Also July 15 and 16 at 6:30 p.m., repeating weekly Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday through summer.

July 18: Wisconsin Bears at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Carl Anderson from the North American Bear Center will talk about the misunderstood black bear, its role in the ecosystem, relationship with humans and clear misconceptions about this large mammal. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center.

July 19: Movie Under The Stars At The Glen at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Rd., Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. story hour, movie at dusk, five minutes east of the Inn. A family-friendly movie under the stars amid. Local author Pam Quinlan reads from her books about the Glen with wonderful animal characters If it’s raining the event will be held in the main dining hall. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Snacks for sale. Admission is free, donations are welcome to benefit the friends group that recently purchased and saved the Glen from development, to preserve its natural beauty and spiritual heritage. For more information call 608-356-8113 and visit www.durwardsglen.org

Guided Hikes, Paddles, Garden Tours And Music July 10-12

If you’re opting to stay home for the Independence Day weekend, join us the second weekend in July for an array of adventures around the Inn at Wawanissee Point.

The River Arts Inc.’s annual Garden Thyme Tour, a self-guided tour of five area gardens July 11, 2015 includes a special stop at the Lodde’s Mill Bluff State Natural Area just west of Sauk City, Wis. This small property with a shaded cliff community is home to a number of rare and unusual plants and is thus normally closed to the public. For the Garden Thyme Tour it will be open 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with U.W.-Madison Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick answering questions about the property and its plants. See more information below.

From historic downtown guided walking tours and a guided hike at Mirror Lake State Park to bagpipes at Durward’s Glen, the Big Band Dance in the Park and an evening paddle, plus two area county fairs, there are activities to awaken all your senses.

Book a guest room today! Call us at 608-355-9899 or click HERE.

A sampling of area events…

July 6–12: Sauk County Fair, Baraboo. Visit saukcountyfair.com for the schedule of events.

July 9–12: 150th Lodi Agricultural Fair and special anniversary celebration, Lodi. Visit www.lodiagfair.com for the schedule of events.

July 10 & 11: Live Music On The Verandah at the Al. Ringling Mansion, 623 Broadway St., downtown Baraboo, as Al. and Lou Ringling enjoyed it, across from Little Village Café (our favorite Baraboo restaurant), 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Admission free, beverages for sale. Questions, call 608-448-7455. Learn more about the mansion at www.ringlingmansion.com.

July 11:

Garden Thyme Tour by River Arts Inc., Prairie du Sac, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Self-guided tour of five of the area’s premier gardens where you can linger as long as you wish, plus Lodde’s Mill Bluff State Natural Area normally closed to the public will be open 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with U.W.-Madison Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick answering questions about the property. You’ll find it about four miles west of Sauk City along State Hwy 60 and Baum Road. Tickets $8.00 advance, $10.00 day of. Purchase tickets at the River Arts On Water Gallery, 590 Water St., Prairie du Sac, or online HERE where there are more event details. Call 608-643-5215 with questions.

Guided Hike at Mirror Lake Sate Park , E10320 Fern Dell Road, between Baraboo and Lake Delton, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Location to be determined. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn about the Park at www.mirrorlakewisconsin.com.

Downtown Portage Walking Tour, Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, 104 West Cook St., Portage, 10:00 a.m. A guided one-hour tour to learn the downtown’s history. For more information call 608-742-6242 visit www.portagewi.com.

Historic Downtown Walking Tour Of Baraboo by Baraboo Tours, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Stroll through Baraboo’s historic downtown following the Ringling Brothers footsteps. Meet at the Al. Ringling Mansion, 623 Broadway St., Baraboo. Tickets $8.00. Call 608-963-2821 with questions. Other tours available. Learn more at www.barabootours.com.

Witwen Concert At The Campground, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., County Road E, Witwen, 25 scenic minutes from the Inn. Harmonious Wail performs, a local jazz trio with intoxicating vocals and enticing arrangements that push the boundaries of Gypsy swing with a mandolin, guitar, female vocals and drums. Grounds open at 4:00 p.m., food for sale at 4:30 p.m. and you are welcome to bring a picnic supper. Bring lawn chairs. If raining the concert is held in the tabernacle on the grounds. More details at www.witwenpc.com and www.dang-its.com.

Bagpipes At The Glen at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Rd., Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., five minutes east of the Inn. An open-air concert honoring the Durward family’s Scottish roots. Live music from Scotland and Ireland, including a piper. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, and picnic to enjoy amid the natural beauty and music. Food for sale. Admission free, donations welcome. For more information call 608-356-8113 and visit www.durwardsglen.org.

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.

Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register and reserve a kayak call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. There are also guided paddles July 8 and 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Movie Under The Stars At The Glen at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Rd., Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. story hour, movie at dusk, five minutes east of the Inn. A family-friendly movie under the stars amid. Local author Pam Quinlan reads from her books about the Glen with wonderful animal characters If it’s raining the event will be held in the main dining hall. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Snacks for sale. Admission is free, donations are welcome to benefit the friends group that recently purchased and saved the Glen from development, to preserve its natural beauty and spiritual heritage. For more information call 608-356-8113 and visit www.durwardsglen.org

Universe In The Park, Mirror Lake Sate Park, Lake Delton, 8:30 p.m. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Slideshow presentation, discussion and a large telescope for viewing the night sky. Meet at the beach shelter. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Learn about the Park here.

 

Peaceful Fourth Of July At Wawanissee Point

Enjoy the holiday in seclusion at our nature retreat in the Baraboo Hills. After exploring the woods and prairies, if you can leave your respite in the hammock overlooking our blooming prairie, snuggle by the campfire with a s’mores kit while you stargaze, watch the fireflies dance and see panoramic fireworks.

Or enjoy small-town celebrations, numerous open-air evening concerts and fireworks displays in nine nearby communities. We highly recommend the charming Witwen parade and chicken-barbeque dinner.

From the prairie terrace, Great Room skybox or the Teepee guest room’s private deck you’ll see Sauk Prairie’s Fire On The River, Merrimac’s fireworks and Madison-area displays.

The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the bed and breakfast closest to Sauk Prairie’s Fire On The River and the Witwen parade.

Call us at 608-355-9899 or click HERE to reserve your guest room.

Independence Day 2015 Fun Around Baraboo

July 2: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register and reserve a kayak call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

July 2: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, Courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Thursday nights through Aug. 27, 2015. Rain site is the Al. Ringling Theatre. Performing tonight: Illusive Sound, a do-wop and 1950s and 60s band.

July 2: Buck Full Moon. Named by early American Indians because the male deer, bucks, begin growing new antlers at this time. Also the Full Thunder Moon and the Full Hay Moon.

July 3: Merrimac Firefighters’ Fireworks, at the Wagner property north of the village, S7116 Bluff Rd., Merrimac. Gates open at 5:00 p.m., fireworks dusk.

July 3: Portage Concerts In Park And Fourth Of July Celebration, Pauquette Park, corner of State Hwy 33 and Pierce St., 5:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m., Wednesday nights. Bring chairs or blankets, and a picnic supper if you wish. Culver’s Custard treats available during the performances. Performing tonight: 5:30 p.m. 132nd Army Badger Brass Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and 9:00 p.m. Madison Malone followed by fireworks over the Wisconsin River at 9:30 p.m. For more information visit www.portagewi.com.

July 4: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. See the July 2 description above.

July 4: Witwen Fourth Of July Parade, Witwen, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. An old-fashioned parade with hundreds of entrants, stretching longer than the bucolic village, includes Jean Powell’s saxaphone band performing on the Concerts At The Campground float. The parade starts at the intersection of county roads E and O, passes through the tiny village of Witwen and finishes at the Witwen Park and Campground. People arrive before 8:00 a.m. to find parking along highway E. The Black Hawk and Denzer United Methodist churches sponsor their famous chicken-barbeque dinner at the Campground after the parade. Learn more at www.witwenpc.com. Bring lawn chairs. A pretty, 25-minute drive from the Inn.

July 4: Sauk Prairie’s Fire On The River, 12:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m, Sauk City Riverway, between the Phillips Blvd./Hwy 12 bridge and Polk St., along the riverwalk behind/east of Water St. Music and dance on the main stage, food court, beer and wine garden, Flavors of Sauk Prairie Food Tasting in four categories 4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. while supplies last at $1.00 per sample or $5.00 for six, PaintNite Drink Creativity (register in advance), mural creation, a silent auction and games for adults and children. Learn more and see a map of the grounds at www.fireontheriver.org.

July 4: Artisan Woodcarving Show And Sale at Flyways Waterfowl Museum, adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park’s north shore entrance. Fine works of art, handcrafted by some of the Midwest’s most talented woodcarvers. Admission is free. Learn more by calling 608-225-7732 and visiting www.duckmuseum.com.

July 4 Area fireworks displays at dusk:

  • Reedsburg Freedom Fest, Nishan Park, 1700 Eighth St./County Road H, Reedsburg, also events throughout the day. Details at www.reedsburg.org.
  • Wisconsin Dells Fourth of July Extravaganza at the municipal pool on Superior St.
  • Chula Vista Resort, 2501 River Rd.
  • Olympus Theme Park, 1701 Wisconsin Dells Parkway
  • Great Wolf Lodge Freedom Howls, 1400 Great Wolf Dr.
  • Kalahari Hotel & Resort, 1305 Kalahari Dr.
  • Wilderness Hotel & Resort, 511 E. Adams St.

Musical Weekend Around Baraboo June 26-28

After hiking, birding, biking, paddling and exploring summer’s natural beauty in the Baraboo Hills the last weekend in June 2015, enjoy an array of evening musical performances. Plus learn about pollinators, see Native American artifacts and enjoy three evening guided paddles of Devil’s Lake.

June 24 & 25: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., and June 27 at 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register and reserve a kayak call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

June 24: Concerts At The Portage, Portage VFW Hall, 215 West Collins St., behind Walgreens Portage, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Wednesday nights. Bring chairs or blankets, and a picnic supper if you wish. Desserts for sale by local nonprofit groups. Performing tonight: Mecan River Ramblers. Visit www.portagewi.com for more information.

June 25: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, Courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Thursday nights through Aug. 27, 2015. Rain site is the Al. Ringling Theatre. Performing tonight: details to be announced. This week’s concert also commemorates the original Al. Ringling Appreciation Day held 100 years ago on the courthouse lawn. Concerned that Al. Ringling would not live long enough to see his theatre completed (he died six weeks after the Theatre opened Nov. 17, 1915), the community held a ceremony that many state dignitaries attended to thank Al. for all his contributions to Wisconsin life. Enjoy a re-enactment of this day 100 years ago, including circus music, preceding the concert. Learn more about the concerts here.

June 15–Aug. 29: Ring Of Fire 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 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. This is not an impersonator performance. Tickets start at $49.95, which includes a three-course dinner but not gratuity, taxes or service fee. Purchase by calling 608-253-4000. Learn more at www.dellspalace.com.

June 26–27: Live Music On The Verandah at the Al. Ringling Mansion, 623 Broadway St., downtown Baraboo, across from Little Village Café, 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Admission free, beverages for sale. Questions, call 608-448-7455. Learn more about the mansion at www.ringlingmansion.com.

June 26: Planning For Pollinator Protection In Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Foundation Brown Bag Lunch, E13701 Levee Rd. (Rustic Road 49), Baraboo, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. University of Wisconsin-Madison post-doctoral entomology researcher Christina Locke, who is chair of the Dane County Pollinator Protection Task Force and working for the Wisconsin department of agriculture to create a pollinator plan for the state will share a background about pollinators, their challenges and work underway to address the concern of their decline. Admission is free. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

June 26: Scott Wilcox performs at Ques Bar & River Deck, 612 Water St., Prairie du Sac, June 8:00 p.m. An award-winning Midwest songwriter, signer and guitarist and Madison’s Overture Center’s Rising Stars 2014 finalist. Learn about Wilcox here. Come enjoy his music and supper while overlooking the scenic Lower Wisconsin Riverway. Admission $5.00. Learn more at www.quesbarwi.com.

June 27: 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 27: Scott Wilcox performs at Con Amici, Baraboo’s wine bar, 125 Third St., 8:00 p.m.–10:15 p.m. An award-winning Midwest songwriter, signer and guitarist and Madison’s Overture Center’s Rising Stars 2014 finalist. Learn about Wilcox here.

June 28: Music In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. A free concert along the north shore sponsored by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park. If it rains the concert will be in the Chateau. Performing: Swing Crew, a fun, interactive, acoustic band playing classic rock, country, pop, swing, island beat and more, with jokes, stunts, toasts and audience participation. More about the Park and its events at www.devilslakewisconsin.com.

June 27–28: 31th Annual Native American Artifact & Antique Show, Sauk County Fairgrounds, Baraboo, Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Antique stone, copper artifacts, beadwork, textiles, baskets, jewelry, pottery, fossils, Civil War, antique guns, swords, knives, pre-Columbian, antique decoys, ethnic art and Eskimo artifacts. Free admission. Call John Welsch at 920-923-3842 for details.

June 30: Sauk Prairie Riverway concerts in the park, Meyer Oak Grove Park, 780 Phillips Boulevard, Sauk City, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Food is available from nonprofit stands. Performing tonight: Swifkick, five area musicians offering a variety of new top-40 country with some classic rock. Learn more at www.swifkick.com.

Click HERE to book your guest room or call us at 608-355-9899.

Baraboo’s August Fine Art Festival Becomes Art June

For 50 years the Sauk County Art Association held its annual Summer Art Classic Fine Art Festival the second weekend of August on the historic courthouse square lawn in downtown Baraboo, Wis. This year the organization renamed the juried show Art June and moved it to Saturday, June 20, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.images-3

Enjoy the 51st visual-arts and fine-crafts fair with music, entertainment and food, regardless of weather. Selected artists from throughout the Midwest display and sell their work in a variety of mediums: fine sculpture, ceramics, paintings, jewelry, glass, photography, fiber art, wood and more. Learn more at www.saukcountyartassociation.com.

Join us for an eventful summer solstice and Father’s Day weekend June 19–21, 2015.

Spend the weekend or a week.

Click HERE to reserve or call us at 608-355-9899.

2015 Summer Solstice Fun Around Baraboo

June 17–21: Circus Model Builders Show, Circus World Museum, Baraboo, 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. An exhibition of small-scale circus models depicting how historic circuses operated from the first train’s or truck’s arrival in town until fading lights signaled the show was moving to the next town. More details at www.circusworldbaraboo.org.

June 19: Brew Ha Ha, downtown Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. A Wisconsin craft beer tasting tour with tasty treats through the historic courthouse square. Tickets $20.00 started selling in May. Check at Bekah Kate’s Kitchen, Kids, Home for availability. Learn more at www.downtownbaraboo.com.

June 20: Sixth-annual An Evening With The Cranes, International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. An earthly elegant outdoor event: stroll trails with live music mixed with crane calls, wine, craft beer and local gourmet food, while visiting with the Foundation’s staff to support the organization’s global crane and wetland conservation efforts. Reserve tickets $50.00 for members and $75.00 for nonmembers by calling 608-356-9462 ext. 171 or at www.savingcranes.org.

June 20: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. Register and reserve a kayak by calling the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

June 20: 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 outdoor amphitheater in the Northern Lights Campground, five minutes west of the Inn. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Rain location is the Nature Center. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

June 20–21: Columbus Horse & Carriage Festival, Fireman’s Park, Columbus. One of the largest horse and carriage pleasure driving shows in the country recognized by the American Driving Society. Enjoy a variety of turnouts from miniature horses to drafts, elegant antique and sleek modern carriages, a parade, and sumptuous burgers and tempting treats for sale. Details at www.columbuscarriagefestival.org.

June 21: Summer Solstice. The earth’s North Pole will tilt toward the sun in its northernmost position in the sky, over the Tropic of Cancer on this first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

June 23: Sauk Prairie Riverway concerts in the park, Meyer Oak Grove Park, 780 Phillips Boulevard, Sauk City, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Food is available from nonprofit stands. Performing tonight: The Red Hot Dixie Jazz Band brings the joy of Dixieland with light to red-hot jazz. Learn more at www.redhotdixiejazzband.com.

Devil’s Lake Big Band Dances Start June 12

Twice a month during the summer you can kick up your heels to big-band music in Devil’s Lake State Park’s historic Chateau along the Lake’s north shore. The Hal Edwards Orchestra enlivens this romantic dance pavilion from 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on six Saturdays.

Hal Edwards Orchestra Devil's Lake State Park

Our guests thoroughly enjoy dancing to the 1940s music during these summer evenings, or watching and listening with a little toe tapping.

Mark your calendar to catch this favorite local band:

  • June 13 and 27, 2015
  • July 11 and 25, 2015
  • Aug. 8 and 22, 2015

Tickets are $10.00. You’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker available online here or at the Park’s north shore entrance.

Then rest peacefully at the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park, the Inn at Wawanissee Point. We are five minutes from the Park!

Reserve a guest room EARLY. Summer weekends fill fast!

Click HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

More Music In The Park

Music will echo across Devil’s Lake at three free concerts sponsored by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on June 28 and July 26, and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2015.

Check the Devil’s Lake State Park Visitor Guide at www.devilslakewisconsin.com for more details, and to learn about other events at Devil’s Lake State Park.

Kayak Tours Resume

Guided kayak tours of Devil’s Lake resume May 30, 2015, but will occur less often than in 2014, most Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings from mid June through August, plus a few others. Learn about the Lake and the Park’s wildlife, geology and history while gaining paddling experience. Rent single or double kayaks at the Park for $25.00 and $45.00, respectively. Visit www.devilslakewisconsin.com for paddle dates.

To register for a kayak tour, reserve a kayak or learn more about Park events, call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected].

Second Weekend Of June 2015 Events

June 12: Guitarist John Masino performs at Ques Bar & River Deck, 612 Water St., Prairie du Sac, June 7:00 p.m. A former CBS recording artist, writer and producer who performed in New York City in the 1980s before settling in Madison, Wis., has won a number of awards. Enjoy his music and supper while overlooking the scenic Lower Wisconsin Riverway. Admission is free. Details at www.quesbarwi.com.

June 12–14: Dinner Theatre: Nunsense, Amen!, by Driftless Area Repertory Theatre Company at Northwoods Banquet Hall, N6510 U.S. Hwy 51, Portage, dinner at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. The familiar Nunsense story that has delighted theatre audiences for years but with a comic twist, all the nuns are played by men. Think Mr. Doubtfire goes to the convent. A fundraiser benefitting Northwoods Inc. Tickets $28.95 plus tax. Call 608-566-7138 to reserve. Learn more at www.nwdswi.org.

June 13: Southern Wisconsin Duck Calling Contest at Flyways Waterfowl Museum, adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park’s north shore entrance. An official duck-calling contest in the front lawn for youth, intermediate and adult competitions. Spectators may enjoy for free. Learn more at www.duckmuseum.com.

June 13: Kayak Tour Of Devil’s Lake, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. A guided paddle to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the Park’s north shore boat launch. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. See contact information above.

June 13: Shakespeare In The Park: A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s outdoor amphitheater in the Northern Lights Campground. Details are pending.

June 14: Flag Day Luncheon at Historic Indian Agency House, 1490 Old Agency House Rd., Portage, 11:30 a.m. social hour, 12:00 p.m. catered luncheon. Following lunch author Kathe Crowley Conn will discuss and sign her book, Juliette Kinzie: Frontier Storyteller. In its 83rd year of conserving and sharing Wisconsin’s rich history at this Federal-style house built in 1832 by the U.S. government, one of the oldest in the state and is outfitted with period furnishings. Between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, at the end of Rustic Road 69, along the historic Portage Canal bordered on one side by wetland habitat. Across the road is the Ice Age Trail’s Portage segment trailhead for flat, easy hiking and bird watching in the woods and along the canal. Learn more at www.agencyhouse.org.

June 14: 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. A 20-minute guided tour and 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 www.sethpeterson.org. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

June 14: Paint Nite Fundraiser at Durward’s Glen Retreat & Educational Center, W11876 McLeisch Road, Baraboo, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Five minutes east of the Inn. Paint with artist Sarah Hill, but come early to hike and enjoy the grounds, open daily dawn to dusk. Sandwiches, sides and desserts will be sold in the main dining hall kitchen during the lunch hour. Bring your favorite wine. Tickets $45.00 and more information at www.durwardsglen.org.

June 14: Circus Of Chefs: The Gala 2015, 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., at Circus World Museum. Featuring more than 30 exceptional chefs, vintners and brewmasters from the finest restaurants between Madison and Wisconsin Dells. Tastings, a gargantuan array of silent auction items, chef awards and more amid soft jazz by Gem City Combo for a festive and lovely evening that culminates with a circus show by Circus World’s galaxy of outstanding professional circus stars. An annual event benefitting the Museum and its 130 years of preserving Baraboo’s Ringling circus heritage. Tax-deductible tickets start at $160. Call 608-356-8341 to reserve. More details at www.circusworldbaraboo.org.

Taste Wisconsin Dells, Blooming Art & More June 5-7

Visit the first weekend of June 2015 for an array of events around Baraboo, Wis.: blooming art show, tasting festival, antique truck show and a moonlight paddle of Devil’s Lake.

For the tenth year Wisconsin Dells, Wis., will begin summer with its downtown Taste of Wisconsin Dells, June 6–7, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Sunday. Sample fare from more than 20 area restaurants serving ethnic and American cuisine while enjoying live variety entertainment, an arts and craft show with more than 75 vendors, an antique tractor show, a corvette display and parade, and a library book sale. Admission is free. Visit www.tasteofthedells.com for the full schedule of events and menu. It’s 20 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point.

From Wisconsin Dells travel 20 minutes southeast to Portage for a colorful experience for all your senses at the Portage Center For The Arts’ Annual Art That Blooms, June 5–7, 2015, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. The Center’s Drury Gallery transforms into a flower fantasyland featuring an array of original art submissions by area artists, which local poets of all ages use as inspiration to write original poetry that is displayed. Then amateur and professional florists create fresh floral arrangements that complement the artwork. Admission is free. Learn more at www.portagecenterforthearts.com.

In Baraboo you’ll find the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society’s Vintage Truck Expo, June 5–6, 2015 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds. This free-admission show of old, new, working and show trucks is held in conjunction with a truck-and-tractor pull June 6 at 7:00 p.m. sponsored by the Sauk County Fair. Concessions will be available at the show.

Make It A Long Weekend

Come early to enjoy Baraboo’s first Concert On The Square or a moonlight guided paddle of Devil’s Lake June 4 and stay late to ride the train at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum as it begins its daily operations June 8. Order a s’mores kit to enjoy by the fire on the prairie terrace as you snuggle under the Strawberry Full Moon.

Book a guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

June 2–8 Events

June 2: Sauk Prairie Riverway concerts in the park, Meyer Oak Grove Park, 780 Phillips Boulevard, Sauk City, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Food is available from nonprofit stands. Performing tonight: Midlife Crisis.

June 2: Strawberry Full Moon. Known by American Indians as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time to gather ripening fruit, often coinciding with peak strawberry season.

June 4: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Thursday nights through Aug. 27, 2015. Rain site is the Al. Ringling Theatre.

June 4: Night Paddle at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. By the lingering light of the June 2 full moon and glow sticks illuminating our crafts, we’ll explore the lake. Paddle begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Register by calling the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] to ensure there are enough glow sticks. Bring your kayak, canoe or boat.

June 6: American Player’s Theatre opens for the season. Enjoy a beautiful drive along the Lower Wisconsin River Road, Scenic Byway 60, before taking in classical theatre in the outdoor amphitheater. A 55-minute drive from the Inn. See the schedule and purchase tickets at www.americanplayers.org.

June 7: 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.

June 8: Mid-Continent Railway Museum opens its 52nd daily season, North Freedom, June 8–Aug. 28, 2015. Train rides commence at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily regardless of weather. Enjoy a 50-minute ride through the Baraboo Bluffs and browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays. Museum grounds open 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Learn more at www.midcontinent.org.

Bike The Baraboo Hills

The Baraboo bluff’s rolling topography appeals to road and mountain bicyclists, especially those training for triathlons and distance races. But if you’ve only begun biking recently don’t let the steep hills keep you away. There are biking options for all skills levels surrounding the Inn at Wawanissee Point in Baraboo, Wis. Biking is our guests’ second-favorite activity.

Gentle Rides images-3

From the Inn you can ride several miles in a loop before encountering challenging hills. At Devil’s Lake State Park, five minutes west of here, ride 8 miles of off-road bike trails plus several miles of paved roads winding through the park and its campgrounds. Mirror Lake State Park 20 minutes north of here has 9 miles of off-road trails and its meandering roads. Both parks offer easier terrain.

Reedsburg’s Wisconsin 400 State Trail is a 22-mile flat rails-to-trails trek of crushed limestone 40 minutes northwest of the Inn. The trail follows and crisscrosses the Baraboo River offering wildlife viewing and driftless-region landscape as you peddle. Get a trail pass and rent bikes at the historic railroad depot two blocks south of the pretty, historic downtown Main Street. Learn more here.

Two Weekly Group Rides

Road bicyclists may join the local Tuesday or Saturday weekly group rides coordinated by Baraboo’s award-winning bicycle shop and full-service outdoor outfitter, Wildside Adventure Sports. Both rides depart from Wildside at U.S. highway 12 and County Road W in west Baraboo. Tuesday rides at 5:30 p.m. are a faster pace for 25 miles to 40 miles. Saturday rides begin at 8:00 a.m. and offer a little slower pace for about 20 miles in 1.50 hours.

Find ride updates at Wildside’s Facebook page here and visit www.wildbaraboo.com for service and product options.

Best Bike Shop In Baraboo

The National Bicycle Dealers Association recently honored Wildside Adventure Sports with its 2014 America’s Best Bike Shops Award. Of 300 eligible bicycle shops in the country, Wildside was one of five shops in Wisconsin to achieve this recognition, with a 92-percent rank. Congratulations!

Mountain Bike Next Door

Devil’s Head Resort a mile east of the Inn offers miles of some of the most challenging mountain biking trails in the Midwest through its ski slopes. Rent mountain bikes and helmets by the day here to use on property or to ride the area roads. Peddle two miles into Merrimac and ride the ferry across Lake Wisconsin for more scenic riding along gentler terrain. Details are at www.devilsheadresort.com.

Distance Rides

From the Inn meander past Sauk County’s 27 state natural areas for fantastic scenery and birding by bike. In the center of the county, 28 miles west of the Inn, you’ll cruise past Natural Bridge State Park and Natural Area as you reach Rustic Road 21: Slotty, Orchard, Schara and Ruff Roads, which take you past some renown birding locations (and bucolic farmland) in the Baraboo Hills: Honey Creek, Hemlock Draw and Pine Hollow State Natural Areas.

Nine miles northeast of the Inn, Rustic Road 49 Levee Road along the Wisconsin River, Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area and the Aldo Leopold Foundation offers a different landscape and pretty ride with excellent birding.

Reserve a guest room HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

Let us reserve an in-room massage for you afterward if you stay in Secret Garden or Bordeaux, or schedule one at Baraboo’s day spa, Spa Serenity, and receive our guest discount.

Circus World Museum Opens Memorial Weekend

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.

We’ll have the hammock out. Let the busyness melt away as you snooze in the sun or read a new book.hammock

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.

Spring Getaway For Mother’s Day In May

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.

Late April Birds And Blooms Hiking

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.

Blooms pasqueflower

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.

Birds

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.

Babies

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.

Frog Songs

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.

Area Activities

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.

American Woodcock Watch April 18

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.

Alert_woodcock_1

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.

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.

Birds on weather radar map

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.

Sandhill Cranes Return

Sandhill crane courtship dance

Sandhill crane courtship dance

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.

Maple Syrup Fest April 4

Maple Sap  Maple sap started flowing this first week of March 2015 as winter abruptly departed and left us with daytime highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s bringing the Baraboo Hills’ sugar bushes alive.

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.

Trail Background