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Come along on an important journey with us as we learn, discover, and explore the theme of "Trails" together through a variety of events, exhibits, speakers, a video documentary, and other programmatic offerings for children through adults. Then let the  trails bring you back home with a greater understanding of the stories which have shaped our history.

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Come along on an important journey

What's so special about the Fox-Wisconsin portaging trail? What were Wisconsin's Native trails like in 1832? What happened on the Ho-Chunk Trail of Tears? Take a journey with us on the trails of the Fox-Wisconsin portage and beyond.

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On Location: The Ho-Chunk Treaty Trail

The Ho-Chunk Trail of Tears extended hundreds of miles beyond the borders of Wisconsin. It was marked by a succession of treaty-mandated reservations where families were forced to relocate, adapt, and carry on their lives in the midst of intense suffering.

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2024 Speaker Series: "Trails"

  • June 11: The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers - Dr. Michael E. Stevens - Firsthand accounts of pioneers who followed the trail West to Wisconsin, 1830s-1850s

  • August 13: Sovereign Waterways: Indigenous Persistence & WI Rivers in the19th Century - Dr. Rob Harper - The role of Wisconsin’s riverine network in Indigenous survivance

  • September 10: Citizens of a Stolen Land: A Ho-Chunk History of the 19th Century U.S. - Dr. Stephen Kantrowitz - A Nation’s journey through the Ho-Chunk Trail of Tears

  • October 8: The Old Military Road: An Historic Highway Winding Through a Bigger Story - Dr. patrick Jung - A key frontier thoroughfare with weighty ramifications

Walking Wawa’ąįja Exhibit

On this ground, a devastating journey commenced for a Nation who has called this place home for centuries. "Walking Wawa’ąįja" (Pronounced Wau-wau-on-een-jau) guides visitors chronologically through the Fox-Wisconsin portage's Trail of Tears, keeping Ho-Chunk voices at the fore. A big picture emerges of both the harsh realities and the Indigenous responses. Take time to explore and reflect on this important story.

2024 "Trails" Themed Events

  • Trails Outdoor Workshop for Kids

  • Ho-Chunk Cultural Arts Day

  • Scouts BSA Historic Trails Weekend

  • Follow the Trail of History living history weekend

  • Wawa’ąįja Walk

Enjoy our trail system

"Stories of the Land" is a signage-guided educational walk through a portion of our property with the goal of engaging hikers with the fascinating history that happened on the soil beneath their feet. From examining the culture and history of the Indigenous Ho-Chunk people, to discovering prominent historical figures who journeyed here, to exploring applied prairie science and more, come and learn out in nature's classroom. Our trails are free and open to the public.

Trails 2024

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