When craving the solace of the outdoors, with enough room to breathe and keep a social distance, the Driftless can offer you the recreation you love with the space you need. Be sure to check ahead to see if offered services are ongoing.
Look forward to your future vacation in Southwest Wisconsin and learn what the Driftless is all about. Click to order a map and start the daydream.
Click to order or download a map and start the daydream.
Photo by Doug Kelley
Tradition and uniformity make up the backbone of the Amish culture. The people focus on the greater good of the community and look to live simpler lives without the influence of many modern technologies. They are sometimes called the “plain folk” and believe the Amish are not to conform to the modern world, so they often live without many modern conveniences. Wisconsin has the fourth-largest population of Amish in the United States, many of whom live and farm within the Driftless region. Their buggies are commonly seen along the country roads and the plainly dressed people simply live their lives as our neighbors.
Where to begin? It is important to note that the Amish people do not wish to have their photos taken. It is completely acceptable to photograph a horse and buggy or their traditional farms, but please respect the request of the people to remain unphotographed.
Photo by Dan Meyers
Down a Country Road near Cashton, WI has several tours to choose from, both self-guided and guided. The guided tours will take you through the local Amish country and give you the opportunity to learn more about the Amish culture. Their weddings, funerals, history, customs, and faith. You will even have the opportunity to meet some Amish families. The tour guide has over 20 years of experience and has built strong relationships with the Amish community. The self-guided tour is available at the Down a Country Road gift shop. Where you can pick up a map, the tour, and a book on the Amish.
Where to begin? No tours on Sundays and be sure to call to book at least two to three weeks in advance.
Photo by Nathan Bang
Amish goods can be found throughout the Driftless. Often, it’s as easy as stopping by a local farmers market to find honey, jams, and pies. They are well known for creating simple, homemade, quality goods. Amish quilts and Amish furniture are sought after. Local shops may stock Amish goods. But for the best experience, watch for the homemade signs at the ends of driveways within the Driftless. The Amish don’t advertise beyond these simple signs. However, you will be able to see at a glance what each family farm, in particular, creates and sells.
Where to begin? Both Viroqua and Ferryville’s farmers’ markets carry Amish goods. You can also stop by Trail’s End, outside of Ontario where you will find Amish goods among the farming tools and implements.
Photo by Dennis Buchner
Amish Driving Tour
When driving the roads of the Driftless you will often come across yellow signs with the image of a horse and buggy. These are good warnings that you’re in Amish Country. Many Driftless roads are winding or have blind hilltops, where you need to watch for the buggies that might be just out of sight and using the road’s shoulder. A good choice for viewing Amish farms would be Highway 33 from Hillsboro to Ontario to Cashton. But it is by far, not the only choice. You can find some more Amish driving tours here.
Where to begin? Hillsboro, Wilton, and Cashton all have large Amish communities in their surrounding area. But, enjoying an afternoon drive through the Driftless will often lead to Amish encounters wherever in the region you may be.