Green Lake County Attractions
Located along the historic Fox-Wisconsin waterway in Central Wisconsin, Green Lake County is an outdoor lover's paradise. Crossed by dozens of sparkling rivers and streams, dotted with crystal-clear lakes, woodlands, wetlands, farmlands, prairies, world class golf courses and wildlife areas, Green Lake County offers fantastic four-season recreational opportunities! From year -round fishing, superb hunting, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, trail riding, nature watching, cross-country skiing, snow-mobiling, exhilarating water sports, and beginner to championship golfing, Green Lake County offers it all and in spectacular scenic surroundings.
Green County's heritage is preserved and on display in area museums, in granite outcroppings that still rise up from the prairie, in stunning 19th century homes and mansions; in historic hotels, saloons, and commercial establishments and in impressive late 19th and early 20tb century churches. Green Lake County boasts the first golf course in Wisconsin. Built in 1896 this course still challenges duffers and champions alike. The treasures of yesteryear are available in area antique shops and malls. In Green Lake County you will still be able to hear Summer's Night Music played in a 1900 era band gazebo, view railroad Chapel cars that carried the Gospel to the American frontier between 1892 and 1914, and, enjoy Princeton's monthly cattle fair, begun in 1869, where people still come from miles around to trade cattle, livestock and news of the countryside as they did 130 years ago.
In 1890, a local newspaper reported that the Green Lake County area "is most favorably situated to make it an attractive and delightful Summer Resort". The area's natural beauty, rivers, lakes and streams, abundant fish, fowl and game; its easy access by road, rail and riverboat; its campgrounds resorts, restaurants, inns and golf courses have made Green Lake County a favorite hunting and fishing ground, golf retreat, and vacation destination for more than a century.
Today, Green Lake County is more than just a "delightful Summer Resort!" It is a four-season getaway with great fishing year 'round, hiking and trail riding on bicycles, horseback and ATV's in spring, summer and fall; and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and, snowmobiling along the same spectacular trails in winter. With great dining, a wide range of accommodations, from camping to luxurious resorts, and one of a kind antiques and collectibles, Green Lake County provides a perfect getaway from the routine of daily life!
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Museums and Historic Sites
Grand River Valley Museum and Train Depot
214 E. John Street, Markesan
Relive the area's frontier days with tales of the Mackford Murder, the Counterfeiters, the Fort Howard Payroll Wagon Raid, Granite Mining and the Dynamite Disaster and more in the remarkable collection of Grand River Valley artifacts assembled by the Markesan Historical Society in this 5,000 square foot museum. Located on the site of one of area's first sawmills, the museum's displays include six rooms of an 1895 era home, an authentic flag stop depot, old-time shops, a veterans' section, tools of early agriculture, one-of-a-kind 19th century home appliances, church histories, and photograph collection.
The Markesan Depot, built in 1884, and added to the Museum Complex in 1997, includes a school room, complete with dunce cap. In fall, the Museum's Annual Heritage Day features demonstrations of candle making, spinning wool, pottery throwing, wagon wheel making and other pioneer skills and crafts.
The Museum is wheelchair accessible, has restroom facilities and has ample parking. Open May 1 - November 1, Sat. and Sun. 1 pm.- 4 pm., or by appointment.
Chapel Car Grace
American Baptist Assembly Grounds, Green Lake
Chapel Car Grace is one of nine chapel cars put into service by the American Baptists from 1892 to 1914, carrying the Gospel to the rugged and wild western frontier. For many, these chapels on wheels were the first and only houses of worship in their communities. Grace contains the missionary's living quarters and a chapel which seats about 65 persons. The only other car of its kind remaining in existence is located in Madison, South Dakota.
Berlin Historical Society Museum
111 S. Adams St., Berlin, WI
Strolling through the museum's displays you will see Nathan Strong's discovery of the Fox River site where he established Strong's Landing, later renamed Berlin; walk through a general store and millinery shop; sit down and enjoy slides of Berlin as it was in yesteryear in an old-time theater setting.
Riverside Park, Berlin
Down at Riverside Park stands a little white schoolhouse with the name of Clark over the door. The school was started up about 1863 and was moved to its present location in 1963. Inside, you can still smell chalk and imagine the presence of children. On the walls are pictures of parents, teachers and children of years long gone by.
Princeton Historical Society Museums
630 & 632 West Water St. Princeton
These local museums are dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Princeton and the surrounding area. Open the third Saturdays of June, July and August from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. and by appointment.
Parks and Nature Centers
Cty. Hwy A, Green Lake
One of the favorite parks on Green Lake, known as the Inlet Area in the 19th century, Sunset Park is located on County Highway A just south of Carver's. The park lies along a roadway constructed over marshland in the early 20th century that bisects both Silver Creek Marsh and Big Green Lake. The park's features include a four-season fishing area with boat launch, sand-bottomed swimming beach, large graveled parking lot, span dock pier, shelter with restrooms, public telephone, waterfront park beaches, safety lighting and a spectacular sunset viewing area.
Hattie Sherwood Park
South Lawson Drive, Green Lake
Named in honor of a pioneer resident believed to be the first female child born in the area, Hattie Sherwood Park and campground features a swimming beach with bathhouses, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, fishing spots, lake access, roadside parking, graveled parking lot, and campsites nestled on a sloping wooded site.
Webster Street Park
255 Webster Street, Berlin
Located along the Fox River, Webster Street Park houses a beautiful new outdoor swimming area, the Berlin Aquatic Center. Along with a large playground area, there are grills and picnic tables. The pool features a graduated incline for small children, a diving area, a huge water slide, concession stand and sunbathing area that everyone can enjoy.
Fox River, Berlin
Riverside Park is one of Berlin's most spectacular recreation areas, consisting of 38 acres along the Fox River. Facilities include a boat launch and mooring area, softball fields, restrooms, shelter houses, a fine camping area with over 40 sites with electric and water hook-ups, 5 playground areas, volleyball and horseshoe courts. Most of the areas are lighted and there is plenty of room for parking!
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Points of Interest
Historic Tuscumbia Golf Course
Founded in 1896, Tuscumbia is Wisconsin's oldest golf course. The course's 18 holes are tree-lined with majestic evergreens, maples and oaks. Its fairways and greens are groomed to perfection. The clubhouse echoes historic memories. View the grounds or play the course pioneering golfers played more than 100 years ago.
American Baptist Assembly, Green Lake
For a magnificent view of the Green Lake area, climb to the top of Judson Tower. Built in the early 1800's by Victor Lawson, the tower's observation platform is 121 steps above the foundation, 200 feet above the lake. The tower is made of poured concrete, and the roof is made of imported ceramic tile. The well is 400 feet deep, and the tank holds 75,000 gallons of water.
Nathan Strong Park
East Side, Berlin
Located in the heart of Berlin's historic Victorian District, Nathan Strong Park is also historic in nature. It is the site of a 1900 era gazebo from which the summer bands still play each Wednesday night, and also features a beautiful 50 ft. Civil War Monument erected by the citizens of Berlin to honor those who died in the war between the states. Surrounding the area are authentic brass cannons complete with carriages. A beautiful fountain, amid lush foliage and lighted at night, sets a magical scene. Around the park are many of Berlin's beautiful, historic Victorian homes.
Green Lake County
Bicycling enthusiasts can choose from over 150 miles of mapped biking routes on eight back road tours that begin in downtown Princeton. The routes range 8 to 34 miles, and from flat to quite hilly, and take you through some of the most breath-taking countryside in central Wisconsin. Brochure/maps are available from the Visitor Information Center and brochure racks throughout Princeton.
Come to Princeton on the first Wednesday of each month for the historic cattle fair! Started in 1869, livestock and cattle are traded at the fair, and farmers market their fresh-picked produce, cheese-makers, gardeners, artists and craft workers display the their creative works, share the news of the day, the weather and the fruits of their labor.
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