Committed to Conservation

Our 233-acre site is one of scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. The Historic Indian Agency House and its governing board (NSCDA-WI) are committed to the preservation of the land. As such, we have partnered with Groundswell Conservancy to establish a 100-year conservation easement on a large portion of our property.

Stories of the Land:

Historical Interpretation and STEAM Education

Our Stories of the Land initiative is a work in progress involving a signage-guided educational walk through a portion of our property. As part of our strategic plan, our goal is to engage hikers with the fascinating history that happened on the soil beneath their feet. The plan also incorporates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) consoles along the way, as well as an inaugural piece of interpretive outdoor art.

Our historic site is situated on beautiful Ho-Chunk ancestral lands which offer valuable educational opportunities. From studying the culture and history of the indigenous Ho-Chunk people to learning about glaciers, ecosystems, applied prairie science, engineering feats, and more, the Stories of the Land program will be designed to enhance our educational offerings out in nature's classroom.

We are still in the planning stages of this initiative. Stay tuned for updates as we progress toward making this vision a reality.

Recreational Opportunities

Our hiking trails wind through diverse habitats, including prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. In the winter, consider taking in the scenery via snowshoes or cross-country skis. Because of our conservation efforts, the trails provide a great platform for nature studies, photography, birding, and more. School groups and scouts enjoy activities in this setting, as well. Our trails are free and open to the public. We ask that you respect the land—including carrying out any trash—so that it may be preserved and enjoyed by all for many generations to come.

Picnic Tables and Gardens

While you're visiting, enjoy a picnic and appreciate our gardens. Our kitchen garden showcases some of the crops that were common in the early 1800s, while our rotary garden (established by the local Rotary Club and other donors) provides a serene place to relax and ponder the lessons of history gleaned from our museum tour. We also have a small community-sponsored heritage apple orchard. Once our trees start to produce, enjoy a treat straight from the tree. The local Master Gardners have partnered with us in these gardening endeavors.

Rustic Road, Historic Canal, and Ice Age Trail

Agency House Road—also known as Rustic Road 69—is part of the Wisconsin DOT's Rustic Roads program, which has granted the designation to more than 100 roads that provide "leisurely travel through the state's scenic countryside." Along Rustic Road 69, just up from its intersection with E. Albert St., a foot bridge crosses over the historic Portage canal, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. On the other side of the foot bridge is the Ice Age Trail, which is a 1,000-mile-long National Scenic Trail carved by glaciers in the state of Wisconsin.

The Grounds

The Historic Indian Agency House

1490 Agency House Road, Portage, WI 53901


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