Soldiers Grove Wisconsin
America's First Solar Village


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Driftless Area Attractions

The "Driftless Area" of the Upper Midwest derives its name from the fact that it was unglaciated during the most recent glacial event about 12,000 years ago.  The Driftless Area comprises some13,000 square miles, largely in southwest Wisconsin but extending into southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and northwest Illinois. The continental glacier which covered most surrounding regions did not touch this area, leaving our signature hill and valley terrain intact. 

 Within a short distance of Soldiers Grove are some incredible attractions, some made by nature, some by man.

Natural Areas and Parks
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Effigy Mounds - Marching Bear Mounds
Effigy Mounds - Marching Bear Mounds
Photo Courtesy of National Park Service

Effigy Mounds
At first you see low rises on the landscape. Soon your eye begins to pick out regular patterns in the hills. If you trace the patterns, the "hills" turn into familiar shapes -- animals rising in low relief out of the ground. These effigies are not the work of nature at all but were created by the people who lived here more than 1,000 years ago.  Effigy Mounds National Monument in Northeast Iowa was established by presidential proclamation in 1949. The monument preserves a representative and outstanding example of a significant phase of the prehistoric American Indian mound-building culture and protects wildlife, scenic and other natural values of the area.

Great River Road
Wisconsin's Great River Road flanks the majestic Mississippi River as it leisurely winds its way along 250 miles of the Wisconsin west border. Along its way, the road is nestled between the river on one side and towering bluffs on the other, becoming one of the most scenic drives in mid-America. Most of the time the road parallels the river, but when the road does meander a short way from the river, it treats its guests to vistas of rolling farmland and beautiful forested valleys and coulees.
Delta Queen Paddlewheeler
Delta Queen Paddlewheeler
Photo Courtesy of Great River Road
Hogback Prairie
Hogback Prairie - Wisconsin State Natural Area
Photo Courtesy of Jerry Quebe
Hogback Prairie
Hogback Prairie is situated on a narrow, steep-sided ridge that rises 300 feet above the Citron Valley, a former oxbow of the nearby Kickapoo River. The prairie has an unusual mix of native plants, blending typical dry prairie species with those of moister prairies. The variety of slopes has contributed to the existence of an excellent population of the state-threatened Hill's thistle and other rare species.  To the south the ridge widens and the prairie grades into oak woods and an overgrown savanna with several savanna indicator plant species. Hogback Prairie is owned by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is an 8,569 acre tract of land located between the villages of La Farge and Ontario in southwestern Wisconsin.  As you hike, bike, ski, horseback ride, or canoe through the Reserve, enjoy its many wonders, including sandstone outcroppings that tower over the quiet waters of the Kickapoo River, and native plants and animals that abound in all seasons.
Bluffs Along Kickapoo River
Bluffs along Kickapoo River
Photo Courtesy of Jerry Quebe
Pike's Peak Overlook
View of Mississippi from Pike's Peak
Photo Courtesy of Iowa DNR
Pike's Peak State Park
Pike’s Peak State Park boasts one of Iowa's most spectacular views across the Mississippi on the highest bluff along the river. Named for Zebulon Pike, this lesser known Pike's Peak was a proposed site for a fort. Pike was sent in 1805 to scout placement of military posts along the river. A fort was never built on this land, and it went into private ownership. Since settlers were not able to build on this property, the peak remains as Pike saw it 200 years ago. Located near McGregor, stop at Pikes Peak State Park for camping, picnicking, and hiking along nature trails.
Wildcat Mountain State Park
On a steep ridge overlooking the scenic Kickapoo River Valley, Wildcat Mountain State Park offers hiking trails with spectacular views and camping for families, groups, and horseback riders. Canoe the Kickapoo River in your own canoe or rent one in Ontario.
Scenic Overlook at Wildcat Mountain
Scenic Overlook in Wildcat Mountain State Park
Photo Courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR
Overlook at Wyalusing
Overlooking the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers
Photo Courtesy of Joseph Warren for the Wisconsin DNR
Wyalusing State Park
At Wyalusing State Park, you can camp 500 feet above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. One of Wisconsin's oldest parks, Wyalusing features Indian burial mounds, canoe trail, bird watching. It's a place to go for fishing, boating, bicycling, picnicking, and enjoying nature. There are an interpretive center and four historical markers within the park.  


Historical Sites and Buildings
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Norskedalen
Nature and Heritage Center

This impressive center, located near Coon Valley (about 45 minutes from Soldiers Grove) celebrates the heritage of the Norwegians who settled the area beginning in 1848.  It consists of 400 acres and six miles of nature trails.  The Bekkum Homestead recreates a typical farm at the turn of the century, while the Skumsrud Heritage Farm serves as an open-air museum.
Norskedalen Shelter & Log Home
Shelter and Log Home at Norskedalen
Photo Courtesy of Norskedalen
Taliesin
Taliesin
Photo Courtesy of Taliesin Preservation

Taliesin, Home and Studio
of Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most celebrated architects, built his principal residence on the hills overlooking the Wisconsin River near Spring Green.  Wright’s architecture has stood the test of time. More than one-third of his buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or are part of National Register Historic Districts. Seventeen of his buildings are National Historic Landmarks, the highest honor bestowed on historic properties by the federal government. His Wisconsin home, Taliesin, became a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  Several tours of the building and grounds are available throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Villa Louis
Villa Louis, on the banks of the Mississippi in Prairie du Chien, is one of America's most authentically restored Victorian house museums. Built by the family of Hercules Dousman, a 19th century fur trader, investor and frontier entrepreneur, the mansion is furnished and decorated with original family heirlooms. The house is open for tours daily May through October.

 

Entry Hall at Villa Louis
Entry Hall of Villa Louis
Photo Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

©2011 Soldiers Grove 
This site was last updated on 01/29/2011