Two of the perpetual joys of visiting southern Wisconsin are the scaled-down pace and the sheer beauty of the surroundings. Bear Valley Vista is in Wisconsin's Driftless Zone, an area of rolling hills that were not touched by the last two glaciations.
Our ‘stone’ house was built in 1915 and updated in 2005 with all modern conveniences. Upstairs are 4 bedrooms and 1½ baths. Both bathrooms are accessible to all bedrooms and the full bath has a jacuzzi tub. A twin Aerobed with bedding is available by prearrangement, to accommodate a maximum of 9 people.
Downstairs are a den/bedroom with a futon that converts to a double bed and a second full bath with a level-in shower. Access to full-house broadband Internet (including WiFi-5G) is at the built-in desk. The dining room table expands to seat 10. The living room has a recliner chair and other comfortable seating for 6 and satellite TV with DVD player and ROKU. The kitchen's built-in banquette has a rotating table for easy access. There is central air conditioning and heating, plus an energy-efficient washer/dryer.
The back of the house is a large two-level porch. The upstairs porch has double-hung, dual pane windows with screens and a gas log fireplace for year-around comfort. A recliner and other comfortable seating, plus lots of books, toys and games makes it everybody's favorite hang out place.
The downstairs porch is fully screened and has plexiglass panels for cool weather. It also has a pass-through kitchen window shelf and a dining table for convenient outdoor meals on warm days. A charcoal BBQ is just outside.
The front porch with its Amish glider and Adirondack chairs is a perfect place from which to see birds and other wildlife. The house is set in an acre of professional landscaping with large grassy areas for outdoor games. There is a fire pit in the east yard. Our manager next door offers a wheelbarrow of wood for $10 to start you off.
Across the street is the 750-acre Bear Creek Sedge Meadow State Natural Area, which is protected public land with nesting sandhill cranes and other species of birds. Bear Creek is a good trout fishing stream which draws bald eagles in the winter. The valley is perfect for hiking and biking. Five miles away is White Mound County Park with a 100-acre lake for swimming and boating when it's warm, and cross-country ski trails when there's snow. Our Lady of the Fields Shrine is near the park's entrance.
Ten minutes east is the Cedar Grove Cheese Factory in Plain. Oakwood Fruit Farm is 10 minutes southwest and open in the fall. 20 minutes north near LaValle is the Carr Valley Cheese Factory. Ten minutes north on St Hwy 154 is an Amish community with a general store and other shops, plus a summer roadside stand with picked-that-day fruit and veggies.
Area attractions within about a 30-minute drive include: American Players Theater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen, Unity Chapel and Hillside School, the Spring Green Art Fair, the lower Wisconsin River, Global View, the Fall Art Tour, House on the Rock, Gov. Dodge State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Spring Green is 20 minutes south via County Rd G.
Other area attractions include: Mineral Point, Baraboo, the Circus Museum, the Shoe Box in Black Earth, Devil's Lake State Park, the International Crane Foundation, the Wisconsin Dells, Mt Horeb, New Glarus, Wollersheim Winery, Cave of the Mounds, Dr Evermor's Sculpture Garden, Gays Mills, Kickapoo River, and Viroqua. Madison is 50 minutes east via Hwy 12.