Southern Wisconsin Area Property
Much like Minnesota’s Driftless Area, Southwest Wisconsin was spared the last round of glacier activity that flattened the rest of the state into gentle, rolling hills. This region’s topography is full of high ridges and deep valleys, making for excellent scenery and hiking. The beautiful Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi River is an excellent example of this geography.
Bordered on the west edge by the mighty Mississippi River and featuring the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway and numerous smaller rivers, boaters and fishermen alike have many opportunities. The area is known specifically for its excellent trout fishing, since the waterways are primarily more small rivers and streams than the inland lakes found in other parts of the state.
This terrain is also quite favorable for deer hunters—small wonder then that Black River Falls is known as the deer capital of Wisconsin. Bicyclists will enjoy the Elroy-Sparta Trail, a lovely 32-mile paved route that was the nation’s first “rails to trails” project. With three rock tunnels and five quaint small towns along its route, it is one of the most popular bike trails in the country.
South Central Wisconsin is most famously home to Madison, the state’s capital and second-largest city. Also known as “the city of four lakes” Madison has tremendous cultural offerings—it is the home to University of Wisconsin, Madison—as well as opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Just north of Madison you’ll find Baraboo and Devil’s Lake State Park, the most-visited state park in Wisconsin and a haven for campers, hikers, and rock climbers. Baraboo is a fascinating town and was home to the Ringling Brothers, America’s foremost circus men whose legacy now lives on in the Circus World Museum. And it was on a farm just outside of Baraboo where Aldo Leopold wrote his famous work A Sand County Almanac. The Aldo Leopold Foundation is now a popular site for visitors, and birdwatchers congregate at the International Crane Foundation nearby. All of this led the Smithsonian Magazine to rank Baraboo #4 in their “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013” list.
The Wisconsin River and the Rock River both run through this section of the state, offering great boating and fishing. The Rock also widens into Lake Koshkonong north of Janesville, near Fort Atkinson.
Janesville offers 2,000 acres of scenic parkland along the Rock River, earning it the title “Wisconsin’s Park Place.” It’s also a treasure trove of historic properties—20 percent of Wisconsin’s buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places are located in Janesville.
The most developed and posh region of the state, Southeast Wisconsin is home to Milwaukee, the state’s largest city. A university town on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is the home to some of the state’s best-known brands: the Brewers, Harley Davidson, Rockwell Automation, and Miller.
Lake Geneva has historically been home to large vacation homes owned by well-to-do Chicagoans. It is now a tremendous getaway destination with golf, dining, museums, and all kinds of outdoor activities including sailing, boating, and fishing on Geneva Lake.