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Get Lost! In Vernon County

Get Lost! In Vernon County: Maple Dale

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Get Lost! In Vernon County: Maple Dale

Vernon S. Quatch passes through the Maple Dale Creek Fishery Area east of Viroqua. Once upon a time there was a hangout called the Hoot Howl in Maple Dale.

Hey. Hi. Vern here. So, do you know those spots that are right under our noses? Like our upper lips! Ha. There are also places that are practically in our backyards….like our backyards! OK, where am I going with this? You ask the best questions. Well, there is a spot that is just a few short miles from the big city of Viroqua that is worth finding.

I’ll tell you about it, but you have to promise not to tell anyone else. It’s a secret spot called…Maple Dale. Shhhh... This scenic little pocket of natural beauty is just a short way from Viroqua. It’s so close, that back in the day humans from Viroqua would pack up their kids and suitcases and spend their summers there. Talk about getting away from the big city life! They really knew how to get away back then.

If you are looking to get away like they did in the old days, all you have to do is go east out of Viroqua on Hwy. 56, and then a left on De Freese Street, ya know, by the painted rainbow garage. (I don’t know, but I’d like to shake the hand of the human that painted that…don’t want to scare them or anything, but it sure is pretty.) Anyways…drive a bit down De Freese Street, go past the round barn (Fun fact: Did you know that there are more round barns in Vernon County than anywhere else in the world? Truth.) Then when you get to a Y in the road – feel free to ask yourself “Why?” at this point, it’s a good question to ask yourself now and again. Then when you are done contemplating “Why?,” veer left onto Maple Dale Road. Wind down slowly, and take in all in. There used to be a secret hangout down there called the Hoot Owl. It’s not there now, but at one time you could hear them hooting and hollering late into the night. If you go down a little further, you’ll go past some cool rock art and then you’ll find a quaint little spot to listen to the babbling of Maple Dale Creek, maybe have a little picnic, called Earthology park.

Go a little further, over the bridge and you will find the Maple Dale Fishery Area. A really nice spot to go for a quick hike or cross-country ski. I’ve also seen humans trout fishing around here. Another fun fact (I’m full of them today)—did you know there are over 200 miles of trout streams in Vernon County alone? That’s 321.8688 Kilometers! More truth. Anyways, if you keep going you’ll see bald eagles and hawks and deer and trees and streams and when you get to the end of Maple Dale you’ll find a dam and a spillway and then you’re back on Hwy. 56! And with that, you have just had yourself a perfect little getaway.

Christina Dollhausen, Vernon County’s economic development coordinator, will be sharing with Vernon County View readers the adventures of Vernon S. Quatch.

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