Parks and Forests
In accordance with public safety guidance from Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health, Vernon County Park Facilities, including campgrounds and playgrounds, are closed until April 30, 2020. The end date could extend depending on future recommendations from the governor’s Safer at Home order, signed Tuesday and taking effect Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.
TRAILS WILL REMAIN OPEN, provided individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements and keep six feet apart. Walking, biking, hiking and running are encouraged. Groups of ten or more are not permitted. Team or contact sports such as ultimate frisbee, soccer or football are prohibited, as these activities do not comply with Social Distancing Requirements.
“It’s important that we follow the governor’s guidelines to slow the spread of the virus and preserve the health of our community,” said Martin Kennedy, Vernon County Parks Administrator.
To request a camping reservation refund, call (608) 637- 5480 or email Marty.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vernon County Park System is truly one which all county residents can be proud of, as it provides us with quality leisure opportunities. Our Parks and Forests Division of the Land and Water Conservation Department manages and maintains over 1,800 acres of park land and forest land, containing more than 31 miles of multi-use trail offering a multitude of leisure time pursuits.
Popular activities within the Vernon County Parks System include camping, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking or visiting one of our fabulous scenic overlooks.
Vernon County is located in the "Driftless Area" of southwest Wisconsin. The city of Viroqua, located approximately 35 miles southeast of La Crosse, is the county seat.
The Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau is a region in the American Midwest noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys. While primarily in southwest Wisconsin, the Driftless Area includes areas of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and northwest Illinois.
The glaciers that covered much of the Midwest bypassed the Driftless Area, giving rivers time to cut down into ancient bedrock and create distinctive landforms. Many of the soils that cover the steep slopes are fragile, ecosystems are diverse, and most of the cold-water streams and rivers are recognized on a state and national basis for their economic, environmental, and recreational importance.
Tree Plantation at Kooyumjian - Lost Creek
Vernon County's Parks & Forests take full advantage of the area's rugged landscapes. Sidie Hollow Park, Jersey Valley Park, and Runge Hollow Recreation Area include relatively small lakes in valleys with steep, forested hillsides surrounding them. Duck Egg and Kooyumjian-Lost Creek are county forest properties offering natural scenic vistas, public fishing and hunting, and several miles of hiking trails. Equestrian trails are also present at Duck Egg. Esofea/Rentz Memorial Park is conveniently located about six miles from each the communities of Viroqua and Westby. It is a combination Park & Forest property, with a trout stream, a cold-water spring fishing pond, campsites, a picnic shelter, playground, a ball field and 3 miles of great hiking trail. Blackhawk Park is a 2-acre tract of land along the Mississippi River north of De Soto. There is a boat launch, boat slips for rent, and a concession and bait store on 500’ of Mississippi River shoreline.