Companion Tours are planned during the three-day program for those who want to break away from the convention business agenda.
Thursday Oct. 26, 2022 Trolley tour of Dark and Historic La Crosse- 25-person Limit Historic/Dark La Crosse Trolley Tour: The bright red trolley bus is a nostalgic re-creation of the types of vehicles that traversed the streets of La Crosse in days gone by. The "Dark" portion of the tour focuses on downtown La Crosse’s ma-cabre past. Your narrator will guide you down a dark path through the red-light district, Prohibition, small-town politics, and vigilante justice in a young and restless river town bordered by the sleepless Mississippi River. Stops along the way St. Rose Chapel: The Mother House of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, the Chapel of Angels is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the United States. Since August 1st, 1878, at least two Franciscan Sisters have maintained a 24-hour prayer vigil for the Church, community and the world. Java Vino: Spacious & versatile cafe providing coffee & espresso drinks, wines by the glass & American bites. We will be stopping for a quick cup of coffee. Houghton's Jackson Street Pub: One of La Crosse’s favorites since 1987. This Irish themed pub provides home-cooked food and made-from-scratch soups like their chicken dumpling, which locals tell you is a favorite. Other local favorites include the Friday Night Fish Fry, deep fried chicken and their appetizers. At the end of our scrumptious meal, don’t for-get to ask for Mary’s home-made desserts. Castle La Crosse: Castle La Crosse is a spectacular Bed and Breakfast located in charming La Crosse, Wisconsin. This 1892 house features five guest suites all with private baths and a lavish morning breakfast. Guests have access to ground floor accommodations that include the music room, library, sun porch and much more. Whether you are a historic home lover or not, all will appreciate the splendor located inside this magical home.
The Tour will depart at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The bus will take participants up to Grandad Bluff. Grandad Bluff has be-come not only a destination point for thousands, but also a symbol of this great Coulee Region. La Crosse’s recent reno-vation (completed in April of 2012) showed the importance and grandeur of Grandad Bluff to all who visit! The 600-ft high bluff overlooks the city of La Crosse. The view of the Mississippi River Valley includes the three states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Wisconsin Trails readers voted this “the most scenic view in the state.” After returning back from the Bluff, experience a Scavenger Hunt and Shop Local, which is all in walking distance of the La Crosse Center. Discount coupons to shop and sample “La Crosse” will be included. The Scavenger Hunt is prepared by the Companion Committee in conjunction with local business and Explore La Crosse. Prizes will be awarded at the banquet
October 28, 2022.
Tours will depart at 8:00 AM and return at 4:00/4:30 P.M.
The tours will include stops requiring moderate walking and stairs. Bus capacities are limited. If one tour fills out, subsequent registrants will be assigned to the remaining tour with capacity.
Exact schedule, routes and stops subject to change.
Maple Valley is a thriving cooperative with a conscience. It is owned by farmers, employees, customers, vendors, and investors with a common vision for a healthy world where nature is protected, people cooperate for the good of all, and communities are strong. It was originally co-founded almost 30 years ago by maple farmer Cecil Wright and two good friends. Cecil also worked at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative for 18 years, which provided the experi-ence that fueled his determination to shift Maple Valley’s business structure to a cooperative in 2007. Maple Valley’s headquarters and main production facilities are located in the small, rural town of Cashton, Wisconsin. They are cur-rently renovating a newly purchased property across the street and the new facility will increase their maple production and storage capacity by 200%. With sustainability and operational efficiency in mind, it will have motion activated LED lighting, will use radiant heat from the cook tanks to partially heat the space, and costs are offset with RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) purchased through a partnership with the local Cashton Community Wind Farm. Maple Valley has over 30 farmer members tapping trees in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. These are family farms, most of which span several generations where they’ve passed along the craft of maple sugaring. Maple Valley Cooperative’s farmer members must be certified organic sustainable farming stewards who ensure that their maple woodland understory stays intact to provide habitat for abundant and diverse wildlife and to prevent soil erosion. The farmers minimally tap their maple trees so they stay healthy and may produce for up to 200 years. In return for their dedication to quality and stewardship, the co-op offers the farmers a competitive, sustainable living wage.
Country Maple supplies is a family business which was founded in 1999. The Hostetler family started with 800 taps on buckets and a 4x12 natural wood fire evaporator. They have steadily grown through the years to 5800 taps all on natural vacuum tubbing. In 2014, they upgraded to a Leader Vortex arch and Steam Away. In December 2019 they were approved to Leader dealership. Their customer base includes local to Colorado.
Located on a ridge rising steeply above the Kickapoo River, Wildcat Mountain State Park offers camping for families, groups and horseback riders. Twenty-one miles of scenic hiking, nature and equestrian trails mean-der through the park. Observation points and picnic areas overlook the Kickapoo Valley. The Kickapoo River is popular for paddling, and rentals are available in the village of Ontario.
Located in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin, Kickapoo Valley Reserve features an extensive landscape with a high diversity of plant communities, numerous rare plants and animals, and significant arche-ological and geological features. Meandering through the site is the scenic Kickapoo River bordered by numerous sheer cliffs and forested bluffs. The surrounding vegetation is diverse with northern stands of white pine and hemlock, exten-sive, rich southern hardwood forests dominated by sugar maple and oaks, forested spring seeps, southern sedge meadow, shrub-carr, alder thickets, hardwood swamp, and shaded cliffs. The shady, sandstone cliffs contain numerous seeps and harbor many rare plants that are restricted to cool, moist microclimates. These cliffs are an important habitat for one of Wisconsin's largest populations of a federally threatened plants. Page 8 Numerous other rare plants are present including a central Wisconsin endemic found no where else in the world. The Reserve is also home to many rare and uncommon birds. Restoration and management within many areas will encour-age native vegetation and increase the amount of habitat for the rare plants and animals that live within the site. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is owned by the State of Wisconsin and Bureau of Indian Affairs - in Trust for the Ho-Chunk Na-tion, and managed by the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002. Par-ticipants will get the chance to walk and explore the reserve.
Phil and Sarah Gudgeon’s sugarbush is located amongst the pristine hills of the Driftless region near the Westby area. The Gudgeon’s run their remote sugarhouse with a propane generator for electricity and supply hot water from heat exchangers on the generator. They cook with a propane evaporator and R.O. Their taps are on vac-uum with more than one location. The Gudgeon’s also have a refrigerated storage.
Have you ever wondered, “How much does an eagle weigh?” or “How big is their wingspan?” The answers await you in an engaging and entertaining live eagle program by the National Eagle Center, the world’s premier resource for impactful eagle education and experiences. You’ll learn about eagle biology, ecology, and natural history, and meet one of the National Eagle Center’s resident eagle ambassadors! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to have your questions answered by one of our expert eagle educators. This program is great for all ages and cameras are welcome. The National Eagle Center is a world-class museum located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN. Home to permanently injured bald eagles, the National Eagle Center is the world’s premier resource for impactful eagle education and experiences. Guests meet live eagles up-close, enjoy engaging classroom programs featuring the live eagle ambassadors, and explore interactive exhibits and galleries highlighting the biology and natural history of eagles and rap-tors, as well as their rich connections across cultures. The National Eagle Center (Eagle watch, Inc.) was founded in 1989 by volunteers dedicated to sharing the unique opportunity to view wild bald eagles in Wabasha in winter with visitors. At that time, the bald eagle was still endangered and a rare sight in the lower 48 United States. In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list and the National Eagle Center celebrated the grand opening of its current facility.
The white pine that’s featured on our label has been on the property about twice as long as our family. The vineyard site was homesteaded in the 1850’s, and the Elmaro tree is estimated at being 300 years old. The lone white pine towers over the surroundings as a symbol of stability and determination. It’s also a representation of our family. We are a family that is fortunate enough to work together and produce something great. Come visit our vineyard and be our guest as you enjoy great wines with friends or family.
We are proud to be a family owned and run start up operation. Planting our first vines in the spring of 2006, we set out to not only grow the best quality grapes and produce award winning wines, but also to share our experience and love of grapes with all that visit. Wine makers and wine lovers alike can come and enjoy our picturesque vineyard and winery.
Take a stroll down memory lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of the most widely used mode of transportation, the automobile. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automo-tive dealers spanning over 100 years and 5 generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles from the turn of the century to present. Dahl Automotive La Crosse is the eighth oldest Ford dealership under continuous family own-ership in the nation. The rich history of the family as they continue to grow alongside the automotive industry is a great legacy in the making.
The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) was created in 1910, and was moved to its current building atop a knoll overlooking the University of Wisconsin Madison Campus in 1932. There, research is conducted on all things wood-related. The lab’s xylarium, or research wood collection, is the largest in the world, with over 103,000 samples. Its herbarium contains one of the largest collections of wood-decay fungi in existence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, FPL is the only federally funded wood utilization research laboratory in the United States, and as such it answers to the public as a government resource.
Wisconsin Plasma Physics Laboratory (WiPPL) is funded by the DoE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to operate several multi-investigator, intermediate-scale plasma physics devices, and represents the Plasma Physics efforts within the University of Wisconsin Physics Department. WiPPL serves both UW and external users, and supports the core of a broad research program to understand the flow of energy between fields and particles in plasmas. WiPPL coordinates the joint operation of the Big Red Plasma Ball (BRB) and Madison Symmetric Torus (MST) devices with a focus on frontier basic plasma science. The combined capabilities of these two devices and their associated infrastructure creates a unique opportunity to lead the world in expanding the basic plasma frontier and to fully realize the extraordinary potential of laboratory experiments to transform space and astrophysical plasma science. For external users, WiPPL provides a suite of plasma source and diagnostic capabilities on the BRB and MST that manipulate and probe fundamental plasma processes in a variety of geometries. Scientific and technical staff operate the two devices on behalf of all users.