RECREATION

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Wisconsin Riverway Attractions

Head down to Peck's Landing beneath the Highway 23 bridge. Take off your shoe or sandal and slip your toes into the river. Here's an interesting fact - "You are taking a dip in the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the Midwest."

So let your toes pull the rest of you in. And enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing, camping and wildlife watching. (But please use caution: this river hasn't forgotten its wildness.)

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With campsites, hiking trails, a canoe landing, picnic areas, and a fully staffed park office, Tower Hill offers visitors a complete natural recreation experience together with a fascinating glimpse of Wisconsin history.

For three decades in the mid 1800s, this site was the location of a major lead shot production operation that supplied ammunition to the nation's military as well as to hunters and trappers. The shot operation was the economic centerpiece of a much larger project: the community of Helena, of which nothing but the cemetery survives. With the spanning of the river by the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad in 1856-57, Helena, its river trading business, and the shot industry were doomed - virtually on the eve of the Civil War. Eventually, the site passed into the hands of Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a well-known Unitarian minister from Chicago and uncle to Frank Lloyd Wright, who used the property as a retreat and rest haven for his fellow ministers. In 1922 his widow, Edith Lloyd Jones, donated the land and tower to the state for use as a park.

 

Visitors to the park can take a lovely walk to the top of the bluff where the old shot tower and smelter house have been reconstructed, and where an exhibit explains how the operation worked. The shot making process was quite simple: lead was melted at the top of the tower, then poured with a ladle through a sieve or colander with a variety of hole sizes. The lead drops became almost perfectly spherical as they fell the entire length of the shaft - a total of 180 feet, counting the wooden as well as the underground mine shaft - to a cooling pool below. Paths can be followed back down to the site of this collection pool, which is reached via a very dark walk through a 90-foot horizontal shaft dug directly in the base of the rock bluff.

Canoeing

The Lower Wisconsin is a river for people who like to travel and to take in the sights at a leisurely pace. River currents range from 3 to 5 miles per hour upstream, to only 1 to 2 mph near Muscoda. Along its entire 92.3 miles there are no rapids or falls (or portages), making it ideal for recreation canoeists. Two thirds of river users are found on the 25-mile stretch between Prairie du Sac and Spring Green. The Spring Green to Boscobel section (27 mi.) is less traveled, and real river solitude can be enjoyed from Boscobel on. Weekend use, in all cases, is 5 to 10 times heavier than during the week. There are numerous canoe landings, including those at Tower Hill, Peck's Landing, and at Lone Rock (on the south bank just east of the 130 bridge).

Wisconsin Riverside
Come on down by the River! Located on the beautiful Lower Wisconsin State River way, Wisconsin Riverside offers RV and tent camping as well as canoe and tubing trips, frequent entertainment in our lounge and game room.

 

Wisconsin Canoe Company
The Best Canoe Company Ever. Canoe and kayak trips on the Wisconsin River. Overnight and day trip options available.

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Fishing

Both the main channel as well as the backwaters of the Wisconsin River support large numbers of game fish and pan fish. In the main channel there are walleye, sauger, channel and flathead catfish, smallmouth bass and northern pike, among others. In the sloughs, bayous, and floodplain lakes one can fish bluegill, bullhead, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike. Be aware of special river regulations, including size limits and protected species.

Good fishing can also be had on area streams and lakes.

Hunting & Fishing supplies and licenses can be found at Doerre Hardware

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Biking

The country roads surrounding Spring Green offer bicycling pleasures and challenges for riders of all abilities. So pack a lunch, pick a direction and enjoy the scenery.

For bicycle touring information contact: Great Bicycle Rides Across Wisconsin

Bicycle Touring - Ride in the Great Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River, the Great Spring Green Bicycle Adventure and the Wisconsin Heritage Bicycle Tour plus other bicycling events.

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Hiking

Devils' Lake State Park
500 ft. high glacial bluffs overlook the 360 acre lake. Nature center; rock climbing; hiking and cross-country ski trails; boating (electric motors only), scuba diving, swimming, fishing. 423 campsites. 3 miles south of Baraboo.

Governor Dodge State Park
5,000 acres of steep hills, sandstone bluffs and deep valleys. Hiking, bridle, cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails. Two lakes offer boating (electric motors only), canoeing, and fishing. 267 campsites.

Natural Bridge State Park
The natural sandstone arch is a focal point of this day-use park. 10,000 year old Indian site. 530 acres of oak woodlands, dry prairie and open fields. Nature, hiking, snowmobile trails. Picnicking.

White Mound County Park
Hike, swim, fish, camp, cross-country skiing. Highway GG off Highway 23.