Summertime is here. Take one step outside and you can smell fresh cut grass and blooming flowers welcoming you to the great outdoors. The Driftless Region is absolutely stunning right now and there are so many fun activities that we can’t decide which to focus on! From kayaking to hiking to biking and golfing, you can do it all in one incredible vacation right here in Sparta. Come stay and play at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast in the heart of town and get some fresh air, this 3-day vacation is going to be one for the books.
Wake up to sunlight pouring through your windows and make your way downstairs for breakfast. A delicious spread of fresh fruit, home-baked goodies, and mouth-watering entrees await you. Prepare for seasonal french toast, hearty egg dishes, or our signature quiche. After a breakfast like this, you’ll be ready to take on the day.
Strap on your hiking boots and head to the Hixon Forest outside of La Crosse for a lovely morning hike. This area has trails for all ability levels. Wander around the forest or make the trek to one of the bluffs for a great view of the Mississippi River to the west and Wisconsin’s Driftless Region to the east. Afterward, you can stop into La Crosse for a tasty meal at any of downtown’s amazing eateries.
In the afternoon, take a scenic bike ride on the Elroy-Sparta Trail. You can bring your own bike from home or rent one from Speed’s Bicycle Shop just outside of downtown. The trail leads you through lush forests and under old tunnels. You don’t have to complete the entire 32.5-mile route to Elroy to enjoy this trail, take it at your own speed, and stop frequently to sightsee along the way.
Wake up nice and early to get over to the River Run Golf Course for an early morning round of golf. Don’t worry about missing breakfast, simply let your innkeepers know the night before and you’ll have a breakfast packed and ready to go with a muffin, fruit, orange juice, yogurt, mini cheese, almonds, and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Enjoy your breakfast to go and head out!
River Run Golf Course is one of the best courses in the Midwest. Nestled just east of town, these well maintained 18 holes wrap around the La Crosse river and make you feel like you’re a world away. This public golf course is filled with friendly faces and reasonable rates so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a peaceful game of golf.
After hiking and biking and golfing, you’ll be pretty tired. It’s time for a change of pace. Head over to Redrock Trail Rides and set out on a relaxing horseback ride through the woods. Kathie, the owner of the farm, offers trail rides 7 days a week where you can explore over 10 miles of groomed trails on her farm. For only $25 an hour, you may want to reserve a whole afternoon to relax and ride around.
Wake up on your third day fully aware of what kind of delicious breakfast spread awaits you. It is your last meal at Franklin Victorian (for now anyway) so savor every bite! Today, the only item on your agenda is floating down the river.
Before you head out to the river, make a pit stop at Northwood Country Market for some picnic supplies. They have incredible deli sandwiches, bulk candy and nuts, and tons of local gems that will elevate your picnic to the next level. Load up on food and drinks and head out. Kickapoo Wild Adventures in Ontario is our favorite rental group for kayaks, canoes, or even tubes! Pick up a two-person canoe and set out on an adventure. They have different lengths of day trips ranging from 30-minute floats to full 6-hour excursions and everything in between. Pick your time preference and let their friendly staff load up your canoe with all of your tasty picnic items. Float & relax as the river guides you through.
The funny thing about Sparta is that you always feel like you could use more time. No matter how much you explore, eat, and shop, you never feel ready to go. At least when you have three whole days in town you can see all that Sparta has to offer.
Ready to explore Wisconsin’s Driftless Region? Book a room at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast for a warm and inviting stay in one of Sparta’s most beautiful and historic inns.