Rivers and Trout Streams – Beautiful rivers and streams wind through Richland County, making their way through expansive valleys as wooded bluffs and rolling hills peak overhead. The wide Wisconsin River and the swifter waters of the Kickapoo and Pine Rivers welcome canoers, kayakers, boaters, tubers and other water enthusiasts, with various access points located throughout the area. Fishers are also drawn to the Richland area, a place that hosts around 267 miles of Class I and Class II trout streams. Nearly 100 sites within Richland County stand as classified trout waters, including Ash Creek in Richland Center, a designated Class I brook trout stream.
Hunting – The area is spotted with a number of public hunting lands, notably the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. With a mix of uplands and lowlands, this region supports a diverse habitat supporting game birds, whitetail deer, turkey and small game.
Parks – The Richland County area takes great pride in its well-maintained parks and recreation facilities. The City of Richland Center’s Parks, Recreation & Grounds Department oversees seven amenity-filled parks, the multi-use Community Center and the Richland Center Arboretum. Richland County’s Parks Commission also operates several parks, trails and facilities located throughout the area. One of the County’s most notable and largest sites is the Ash Creek Community Forest (Richland Community Forest), sprawling out over 350 acres just south of Richland Center. The forest features hunting areas, primitive multi-use trails, trout fishing along Ash Creek and plenty of opportunities for bird and nature watching.
Trails – Trails, utilized for biking, hiking, horseback riding or snowmobiling, are abundant throughout Richland County – within the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Ash Creek Community Forest, Minor Hill Trail, the UW-Richland Arboretum and just north of the county in the unique Kickapoo Valley Reserve. One of the most popular trails in the area is the Pine River Recreation Trail, a 14-plus-mile trail drawing hikers and bikers, as well as snowmobilers in the winter. Bikers are also seen traveling along the area’s scenic rural roads and participating in Richland Center’s annual Ocooch Mountain Fall Bike Tour. This challenging event occurs the first weekend in October and takes cyclists through some of the county’s most beautiful parts during the colorful fall season.
Symons Recreation Complex – Owned and operated jointly by Richland County and the City of Richland Center, the Symons Recreation Complex is the largest health and fitness center in the area. The facility is well equipped with a large indoor pool, cardio and weight training equipment, two racquetball courts and a variety of exercise classes, both in the water and in the studio.
Effigy Mounds – One thousand years ago, ancient peoples constructed thousands of earthen monuments shaped like animals, humans and spirit figures. While modern development has destroyed the majority of these monuments, some have been preserved. These effigy mounds are discovered in the Effigy Mounds National Park in Harpers Ferry, IA, as well as at various places throughout southwestern Wisconsin. A self-guided tour map of the effigy mounds is available at the Cultural Landscape Legacies, Inc. (CLL) Web site, www.clli.org.
Eagle Cave – Within 30 minutes of Richland Center, one will come across the state’s largest onyx cave. Visitors guided through Eagle Cave view beautiful formations, including diamond stalactites, the giant toadstool and the Robin Hood Forest. Outside of the cave, the grounds offer opportunities for camping, hiking, canoeing along the Wisconsin River and fishing on Blackhawk Lake.Relaxation
A day of relaxation is an important part of one’s wellness. Several local salons and spas treat pampered guests to nail and hair services, massage sessions, facials, electrolosis and other de-stress options. Among the area’s local establishments are DeAnne’s Designs & Electrology, Hair Doctors-Recovery Spa and Pampered Pleasures.
Rustic campgrounds are readily available throughout Richland County. Tent camping, RV hook-up sites, popup campers and rental campers are welcomed at the modern Stone’s Throw Campground in Lone Rock and Alana Springs Campground in Richland Center. The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway is full of public lands utilized for various forms of recreation, including camping. Other notable campsites in the area include Pier County Park, a 10-acre County site with six campsites, and the Richland County Fairgrounds, which draws plenty of fair-goers each year.
For more modern accommodations, Richland Center’s Starlite Motel, Center Lodge and Park View Motel offer comfortable and affordable lodging choices, complete with various in-room amenities. The Ramada Richland Center also provides visitors an excellent overnight option, featuring 43 smoke-free rooms and suites, along with an indoor heated pool and hot tub, exercise room, meeting and event space, a business center, a restaurant and lounge, as well as free high-speed Internet access.
Semi-private accommodations and delicious homemade breakfast are provided at several local bed & breakfast inns. One of the newest B&Bs in Richland County is the quaint Cream Pitcher B&B, while one of the most contemporary is Rembrandt & Rutabagas, an artsy B&B bursting with color and varying designs. Jacquish Hollow Angler’s Inn is a gorgeous two-room B&B offering a quiet place to relax after a day of fishing. Visitors also choose to stay at Littledale Farm, a working sheep farm where guests are invited to stay in a renovated four-bedroom farmhouse overlooking peaceful pasturelands.
Guests searching for completely private quarters take advantage of the area’s various country retreats. Sites, including Candlewood Cabins, Little Willow Springs and the Merry Farm of Gotham, supply guests with a tranquil and relaxing environment all their own. Local country retreats generally offer cozy one- or two-bedroom accommodations accompanied by a fully-equipped kitchen, bath and surrounding recreation opportunities.