Madison Road Trip

Get out of the house!


Day Trip

The Painted Forest

The Painted Forest is the work of a relatively unknown itinerant painter, Ernest Hupeden. In exchange for room and board (and sometimes booze), Hupeden would paint murals on businesses, halls and other buildings. The Painted Forest, in the Modern Woodman… Continue Reading →

Buckhorn State Park

This quiet and rather unknown park is an hour and a half drive from Madison. It’s primary focus is the large, shallow Castle Rock Lake which empties into the Wisconsin River. Canoe, kayak, boat, and fish on this placid lake…. Continue Reading →

Ableman’s Gorge State Natural Area

This short but interesting hike loops through an abandoned quarry. The high sandstone walls show both signs of mining, but also fossil ripple marks. There is moss everywhere – on the rock walls, fallen boulders, and under the shaded tree… Continue Reading →

Green Circle Trail

The Green Circle Trail is a gorgeous trail circling Stevens Point. It follows both the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers. There are ponds, bridges, beaches, marshes and the remains of historic buildings throughout. The trail seemed well maintained, wooded, wide and… Continue Reading →

Baraboo Bluffs Scenic Tour

The area around Baraboo is gorgeous and unique. Use this handy scenic drive map to wander some back roads, stopping by other attractions in the area including Devil’s Lake State Park, Durward’s Glen and Parfey’s Glen. Stop in Baraboo for… Continue Reading →

Karpeles Manuscript Library

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Duluth is actually one of eleven libraries, spread across the country. With a vast collection of historic documents, the libraries feature small shows of rare items around a theme. 902 E 1st St, Duluth, MN… Continue Reading →

Pikes Peak State Park & Bridal Veil Trail

Even if you’re not a hiker, Pikes Peak State Park is worth a visit for the breathtaking views over the Mississipi. A large overlook platform gives you a clear and panoramic view of the river. Strike out on the Bridal… Continue Reading →

Crystal Lake Cave

Having visited both Crystal Lake Cave and Niagra Cave in one day, I can’t help but compare the two. Crystal River is a magnificent cave, but is still the poor relative to Niagra. The guides are young, inexperienced, and know… Continue Reading →

Niagra Cave

Niagra Cave is a large, well-kept and well-run attraction. The tour guides are articulate and knowledgeable, the upper grounds are quite attractive, and the cave itself has clearly been tended and protected. There are few signs of vandalism or damage… Continue Reading →

Apple River Canyon State Park

Right over the border in Illinois, Apple River Canyon State Park is a beautiful valley hidden in some otherwise dull landscape. The Apple River flows through the middle of the park and is bordered by picturesque stone bluffs. The hiking… Continue Reading →

Fort Crawford Museum

The Fort Crawford museum is housed in the old fort’s medical building. While not much remains of the Fort, some archeological work is being done. The collection is a bit of a mish-mash. There is a focus on medicine, with… Continue Reading →

Logan Museum of Anthropology

The Logan Museum of Anthropology, located on the UW-Beloit campus, is the amuse-bouche of anthropology museums. There is a teeny tiny bit of everything, giving you a minute sample…but really not enough to learn anything. Additionally, while collection is called… Continue Reading →

John Muir Memorial County Park

The pandemic has given us a much greater appreciation of county parks. There are so many of them, and they are usually just as nice as the state parks – but quieter and less visited. John Muir Memorial ParkĀ  is… Continue Reading →

Whistler Mounds Park

This small, hidden park contains an extensive Native mound system. Sadly, these ancients memorials are greatly eroded. Without the hand-made map, you would likely overlook them. While the rest of the park is small, it has an amazing view over… Continue Reading →

Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve

You can’t beat the views of Lake Michigan from the bluffs at Lion’s Den Gorge. Most of the trails are along the bluffs, through woods and wetlands. However, if your thighs are up to it, head down a long flight… Continue Reading →

Green Lake/ Winnebago Trail Conservancy

There’s something eerie and rather inhospitable about the Green Lake region. We’d only been there once in the past, and only knew it existed from the listing on a now-defunct sculpture garden. Despite it being a sizable lake, it seems… Continue Reading →