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Wisconsin’s Hidden Valley Getaway

Next Trip: Fri-Sun, Oct. 2-4 & Mon-Wed, Oct. 5-7, 2020

Cost: $185 plus expenses.( See details )

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Live Well ... Make Memories
Enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin’s Hidden Valley

Paddle past bluffs, woodlands, and prairies.

 
  • Bike...the 18 prettiest miles of the famous Sparta-Elroy trail
  • Hike...through autumn splendor in Wildcat Mountain State Park
  • Kayak... the peaceful, winding Kickapoo River
  • Horseback ride...through rolling Wisconsin countryside
  • Tour Amish country...and learn about their culture
 
Day 1

Venture 3 hours – and worlds away – to this charming Hidden Valleys countryside.

12:30 pm: Meet at our super-comfy Country Inn & Suites, Sparta, WI.

1 pm: Explore the country shops at Down a Country Road.

2-4:30: Then visit the local Amish community. We’ll meander past their farms and fields, and shop their gorgeous (and yummy) handiwork. We’ll tour with a local guide who grew up in this Amish community and authored the book, "Down a Country Road with the Amish." She’ll share great insight about these interesting people, their beliefs and customs.

5 pm: Check in and relax in your room at Country Inn & Suites.

6 pm: Enjoy down-home cooking at Sparta Family Restaurant, conveniently located next to our hotel.

Day 2

9 am: Leave to hike the pristine 1.3-mile Hemlock Trail at Wildcat Mountain State Park. This lovely path, named for towering hemlock trees lining our path, winds past picturesque peeks of the meandering Kickapoo River. Our trail climbs 365 feet to an observation point atop 1200-foot Mt. Pisgah, giving you great vistas of the rolling Hidden Valleys. After our hike, enjoy your trail lunch along the pretty Kickapoo River.

Choose from 3 great afternoon options

This is an easy and beautiful paddle
for kayakers of all abilities.

Bicycle this famous trail –
the first "rails-to-trails" path.

Explore the pretty Wisconsin countryside on horseback.

OPTION 1: Kayak 6.6 miles down the peaceful Kickapoo River. In the Indian language, Kickapoo means "He first goes that way, and then the other way." You’ll understand why it earned that name as you float down this crooked little river. The river covers 60 miles from its headwater until it flows into the Mississippi. But because it winds back and forth so much, its route stretches 126 miles! After kayaking, a bus transports us back to our cars.

OPTION 2: Hike the 2.5-mile Old Settler’s Trail at Wildcat Mountain on your own. It winds along a ridgeline and through a valley. It earned its name from early settlers and farmers who once followed the trail. It also takes you past three pine stands planted by area students 70 years ago.

Option 3: Explore the countryside, shop, relax, or bike on your own.

7 pm: Dine at Jake’s Northwoods, which offers yummy food and a great ambience.

Day 3

Morning: Choose from these two fun adventures:

  • 9 am: OPTION 1: Bike 18 miles (from Wilton to Sparta) on the famous Sparta-Elroy trail. It was our nation’s first rails-to-trails route...meaning it was converted from a train route to a biking path. We’ll pedal a level trail through beautiful countryside and walk our bikes through fun mountain tunnels. (One of those famous tunnels is 1-mile long; you’ll need a headlamp or flashlight.)
  • OPTION 2: Horseback ride through the rolling Wisconsin countryside at 9:30 or 10:30 am. This 293-acre farm was homesteaded in 1885 and offers 10 miles of trails covering ridges and valleys.

12:30ish pm: Grab lunch and well-earned ice cream at Ginny’s Cupboard soda fountain, a local favorite.

1:30 pm: Head home, treasuring great memories and warm friendships.

"Thank you for a truly amazing time in the Hidden Valleys ~ and for the fun I had with so many energetic and enthusiastic women. These trips challenge me and make me feel proud of what I can do." ~Jingles
Lodging: Sparta’s Country Inn & Suites Phone: 608-269-3110

Enjoy the central location, indoor heated pool/whirlpool, guest laundry, high-speed internet and FREE COOKIES! Each room has 2 queen beds, cable TV, mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer, alarm clock, shampoo/conditioner, and iron/board. The yummy complimentary breakfast—served 6-9:30 am weekdays and 7-10:30 am weekends - includes eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, waffles, fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, toast, juice and coffee.

We’ve reserved a block of rooms, with two queens in each, at these discounted rates:

Weekday rates: $95/night + 12.5% tax
Weekend rates: $120/night + 12.5% tax

Call the hotel by 8/31 to reserve your room from Trailbound’s room block. When doing so, you have these options:

  • Solo rooms: The double-queen room is still your best value.
  • Extended stay: No problem, pending room availability, so call early.
  • Early check-in: Standard check-in is at 3 pm. You may be able to check-in at noon, pending room availability.
  • 1st floor rooms: Because there is no hotel elevator, we’ve reserved 1st floor rooms. You can request a 2nd floor room.
Activities: Reserve your spot for the activities when registering;
pay for them that day.

Paddling: 1-person kayaks= $30*; 2-person canoe =$40* (*Prices include PFDs/paddles but are "guestimates"; TBD by outfitter.)

Horseback ride: $37.50 per person (plus tip) for a 1.5-hour ride at 9 or 10:30 am (cash/check only)

Bike rental & shuttle through Speed&3146;s Bike Shop (2020 rates):

  • Bike/helmet rental: $25 per person (or bring your own bike/helmet)
  • Helmet-only rental: $3 per person (or bring your own)
  • Electric bike rental: $75 per person (pedal as much or as little as you like)

Getaway cost covers:

  • Two Trailbound leaders throughout the getaway
  • Guided hike, bike ride and kayak
  • 2.5-hour guided Amish tour
  • Packet with area info, maps and packing list
  • Trip arrangements
  • Online photos of your adventures
  • Bike and kayak shuttles and tips

Registration cost doesn’t cover meals and lodging. While our guides lead and assist on biking & paddling adventures, the getaway cost doesn’t include bike/kayak rentals or horseback rides – out of consideration to those not doing these activities. (Bring your own bike and pedal for free.) Trailbound will cover bike and kayak shuttle costs.

Registration

We can take 24 women on each of the two trips. Spots fill quickly! Reserve your spot soon. Please review our Policies before registering.

“ Thanks for a magical weekend. It was such a great change-up from everyday life and labors! I’m looking forward to sharing the photos with friends and family. Thanks for your positive and inspiring leadership and helping us to try new experiences that we might not otherwise have made time for. I look forward to the next outing! ” -Margaret

“Thank you for a truly amazing time in the Hidden Valleys ~ and for the fun I had with so many energetic and enthusiastic women. These trips challenge me and make me feel proud of what I can do.” ~Jingles