Esofea/Rentz Memorial Park is Vernon County’s oldest park. The 135 acre park has a rich history that includes lots of baseball, and even a season of Viroqua High School football under the lights in the late 1940’s. The South Ridge baseball team called Esofea Park its home field. There were lights and bleachers with seating for 900 spectators. On many summer Sunday afternoons, the park would fill with spectators who enjoyed the concession stand, and of course the great baseball action.
While the lights are now gone, the park remains a very popular spot for family reunions, birthday parties, anniversaries and an occasional wedding. There are 27 campsites, including 15 rustic tent sites, 8 electric sites and 4 full hookup sites. NEW IN 2010 was the addition of flush toilets. There are no showers available in the park at this time. Other park features include a picnic shelter, a playground, a large open field for playing kickball or softball, spring fed ponds, a trout stream and over 3 miles of hiking trail. After October 15th each fall, the park is open for hunting.
Esofea/Rentz Memorial Park sustained heavy damage during the flood events of August 2007 and June 2008. All of the damage has been restored, trees have been planted, a native prairie area has been planted, new hiking trails have been developed, and many other park amenities have been improved. A new bridge spanning the North Fork of the Bad Axe River as you enter the park has been completed. The new bridge has a longer span and more capacity to handle flood waters, so future flooding should cause less damage to the park.