This area of the Driftless Region in Wisconsin is absolutely stunning, especially in the Autumn months. One of the best places to enjoy the fall colors near Sparta is the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Sitting south of Wildcat Mountain State Park, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve is about 8,500 acres between the villages of La Farge and Ontario, WI. It’s best known for the majestic sandstone cliffs that border the Kickapoo River and its undisturbed nature for solitude in the woods.
As a guest at our Wisconsin bed and breakfast and destination resort, you’ll find plenty of open natural space, which is particularly beautiful in the fall months as the leaves change from greens to golden and reddish hues. For those who would instead stick close to their lodging, our property offers miles of maintained wilderness trails ideal for birdwatching and hiking during the autumn and perfect for snowshoeing adventures in the wintertime.
After a day of outdoor recreation at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve or on our Justin Trails Resort grounds, your cozy and comfortable lodging accommodations will be a welcome respite. Whether staying in one of our intimate B&B suites or rustic, luxury log cabins, you’ll have everything you need for a relaxing and restful getaway to Wisconsin. Head over to our availability calendar and book your next stay today!
Explore the Wilderness at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve
The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is about 30 minutes from our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. You’ll take in the stunning fall colors on your scenic drive through the Driftless Region—these hardwood forests are dominated by sugar maples and oaks, both tree species known for putting a show come autumn.
Here are the best things to do at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve:
- Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor’s Center: The state-of-the-art Visitor’s Center at the reserve is a great first stop. The 8,300-square-foot building is designed to fit into the natural surroundings with large, south-facing windows that capture fantastic views and collect solar energy for heating the space. Head to the exhibit gallery to learn more about the area and native plants and wildlife.
- Wintergreen Bluff Trail: From the Visitor’s Center, this trail is only 1.5-miles and heads through groves of hardwoods and conifers, and offers lovely views along the river. There’s a bit of a steep climb, but overall this is a relatively easy route for all hiking levels.
- Mountain Biking Trails: If you prefer exploring on two wheels, there are trail options at Kickapoo Valley Reserve for road, mountain, or fat tire biking.
- Canoeing or Kayaking on the Kickapoo River: Paddling on the Kickapoo River is one of the best ways to take in beautiful fall colors from a unique perspective. As you glide along the 125-mile “crooked river,” you’ll find shallow and gentle currents. The upper stretch of the river is known as one of the most picturesque between La Farge and Ontario.
Unique Ice Cave Formations at Kickapoo Valley Reserve:
The Kickapoo Valley Reserve also offers plenty of winter recreation, and one of the most popular natural attractions is the ice caves and majestic geological formations on the sandstone cliffs. The rock shelters within these stone walls were formed millions of years ago, and during the winter months, water freezes into striking layers over the openings.
Visiting the Valley of Ice is a must at Kickapoo Valley Reserve; reached via the West Ridge Trail, you’ll find these icy curtains and caves a fascinating sight. One of the best ways to navigate these trails is by snowshoe or cross-country skis. Be sure to read up on the best ways to explore Kickapoo Valley Reserve during the winter before you go.
Your Home Away From Home at Justin Trails
After a day spent in Wisconsin’s great outdoors, taking in the beautiful fall colors, you’ll love heading back to your guest suite or luxury log cabin. Spend the evening relaxing by your cozy fire with a glass of wine or a bubble bath in your double BainUltra whirlpool tub. If you’d prefer to explore the property more, hit one of the two championship disc golf courses or curl up by the outdoor fire pit under the starry sky.