KOAs are kind of hit and miss with us. The worst are impersonal, crowded, and a few yards from the expressway. They serve a purpose (showers, laundry, and saving money come to mind) but we do not miss them when we leave. There are a couple of special ones, like the one a few miles south of Mendocino, California that do the system proud. Last weekend, in north central Wisconsin, we stumbled upon a new favorite.
Honestly this is one of our favorite campgrounds (private or public). What made it special were the little things (like the countless decorations put up by the owner’s grand daughter) that went along with the bigger attractions such as the quiet little trails leading to viewpoints of the surrounding valley. There is also a not so clearly marked trail that leads to three distinct rock shelters. A lot of people have camped on this land and the faint petroglyphs hint at a culture 10,000 years past. Many stone tools, arrow heads, and other artifacts have been found in the area and some of them are displayed in the laundry room.
Our cabin was heated (which was a good thing because it was in the 30s the first night we stayed). Some of the cabins (called lodges) have bathrooms but ours did not. The shower/bathroom area, however, was clean and next door. They also had two camper sinks (yeah!) and the tent sites are very large and private. And while bigger attractions like the Sparta-Elroy trail are a good hour away (the price we paid for staying somewhere a few miles away from an expressway) the surrounding area does have it charms. Like a ton of gourds, apples, and pumpkins to share. At one place there was a field, a drop box (a dollar a pumpkin), and a couple of scarecrows watching over the scene. Another farm involved a couple personally welcoming each visitor and offering everyone a spot of coffee or a sucker depending on their age. The inside area proudly displayed a “Kindergarten Hall of Fame” with photo after photo of smiling little faces holding their favorite gourds. Their dog was friendly too and followed us around the place. At the Cain Orchard we, and two other families, were given a tractor pulled tour of the farm. It was all blueberry bushes (a beautiful fall red), golden harvested fields, and brightly turned trees in the distance. The apples were a delicious after thought.
If you want to go this season, you better hurry cause they close down soon. The heated pool probably makes this a good summer place to hang out too. Follow this link link for more information.