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Amil's Inn is a Premier Wilton, Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast in the Kickapoo Valley

Amil's Inn Bed & Breakfast in Wilton Wisconsin, is nestled in the Kickapoo Valley minutes
from the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, Wildcat State Park and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.

Archive for the ‘Area’ Category

Come and Experience the Elroy-Sparta Trail

April 28th, 2013 by David Reeck

The Wilton information Caboose welcomes you to the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

The Wilton information Caboose welcomes you to the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

Spring has finally settled in with a few days of 70 degree weather and it’s time to get those bikes ready to experience the more than 50 rails-to-trails throughout the State of Wisconsin.

Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail which was the first rails-to-trails bike trail in the nation which opened to the public in 1967.  The Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail is exceptionally beautiful and has three tunnels.  Since you will have to walk your bike through the tunnels a flashlight, bike lights and a light rain jacket is recommended.  The longest tunnel is approximately ¾ of a mile long located between the towns of Sparta and Norwalk and will more than likely take 15 minutes or longer to walk through.  In the middle of the tunnel you will find a small waterfall spring.

A Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required for bicyclists age 16 and older.  The daily pass fee is $4.00.  An annual pass is also available for $20.00 which covers all the rails-to-trails in the State of Wisconsin for the whole summer.  Trail passes are available at Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast and other businesses in the area.

May 1 is the official opening of the Elroy-Sparta Trail for the 2013 biking season.  The Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a day of celebration on May 1.  There will be a community ride from Norwalk to the Sparta Depot.  A shuttle will pick up riders at the Sparta Depot (111 Milwaukee Street) at 9:00 AM.  At 12:00 noon, a ribbon cutting will be followed by a Department of Tourism speaker, refreshments and biking information from the Wisconsin Bike Federation.

So get those bikes dusted off and oiled up and we hope to see you at Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast this summer!  Safe travels!

Ice Cave Near Amil’s Inn

March 31st, 2013 by David Reeck

Claire, Caitlan, Sondra, and Rachel enjoying the Ice Cave!

Claire, Caitlan, Sondra, and Rachel enjoying the Ice Cave!

Even though it is spring and we just saw our first robin in the driveway of Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, the Ice Cave at Wildcat Mountain State Park, Ontario, Wisconsin still looks like winter.

The Ice Cave is actually an eroded sandstone formation that appears to be a cave when approaching.  However upon closer inspection you will find a shallow depression in the rock with a small spring running over the upper edge.  During the winter, this spring water freezes into a giant icicle.  Our daughter and 4 of her friends made a recent visit and as you can see, there still is much ice to enjoy.  Actually the the iceicle can last into May depending on the spring weather!

The Ice Cave is just off County Highway F, south of State Highway 33.  This is the entrance and parking area to the Ice Cave picnic area and trail.  The Ice Cave is approximately ¾ mile from the picnic area and you will be hiking along the banks of Billings Creek.

Wildcat Mountain State Park can be enjoyed all year long.  It has over 20 miles of hiking trails, 15 miles of horse riding loops with 24 campsites for equestrians nearby, over 25 family campsites, several picnic areas available with shelter, canoeing and kayaking on the Kickapoo River, fishing and limited hunting and trapping as well as snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails.  For more information visit their website:

Now would be a great time to plan your trip to Wildcat Mountain State Park.

Treasures on the Korner Near the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail

February 28th, 2013 by David Reeck

Shirley Degenhardt of Treasures on the Korner in Norwalk, Wisconsin.

Shirley Degenhardt of Treasures on the Korner in Norwalk, Wisconsin.

“Treasures on the Korner is the name”, said Shirley Degenhardt, who opened her new business on the corner of Norwalk, Wisconsin’s Main Street in the summer of 2007.  Since that time she has filled two buildings with antiques- the old, the used, the elegant, the out-of-date with some new and up-to-date treasures as well.

The building which houses Treasures on the Korner dates back to 1903 and at one time was the home  of Otto Scheule’s Norwalk Hardware Store.  You will be able to wander through a high ceiling room supported by the five original round, brown pillars with the original hardwood floors. The original ceiling is pressed tin with an elaborate floral design.  The cupboards along the wall have been there 100 years.  You will notice small holes in the floor bored for rope which was stored in the basement and customers could view the size rope available and then pull the length needed and purchase.

Prior to Treasures on the Korner, the building was home to Degenhardt’s Tire, a wholesale, retail and on the farm service tire store operated and owned by Shirley’s husband, Reuben.

The treasures are obtained from auctions and items collected over the years as well as 12 dealers who supply inventory. A partial listing of items available are dish and tea sets, plates, tea cups, furniture, cookie jars, clear and colored glassware, old tools, old toys, pottery, crocks, and silverware.  Some of the new items are handcrafted wooden birdhouses, warm fleece and quilted quilts, coffee tables and end tables.

If driving through Norwalk look for a decorated chair on the corner.  If you see the small, cute antique chair, it is to tell you that Treasures on the Korner is open for your antiquing delight!

Now would be a great time to plan your summer get-away and enjoy the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, take in some antique hunting at Treasures on the Korner and enjoy a relaxing weekend at Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast. 

Special thanks to “Journal Entry from Ridgeville” by Lyda Lanier that supplied information for this blog

5th Annual Rails to Trails Marathon

October 30th, 2012 by David Reeck

The 5th Annual Rails to Trails Marathon will take place Sunday, November 4, 2012.

Known for its steady and challenging uphill stretches that await runners along the first few miles of the course, the Rails to Trails Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run takes runners and walkers on a tour of the Elroy Sparta State Trail, a former railroad that’s been converted into a 32-mile paved recreational trail that winds through the small towns and countryside areas of southwestern Wisconsin between towns of Elroy and Sparta, and features three long tunnels that hikers, walkers, bikers and runners can pass through — one of which runners will run through during the race.

Marathon Summary

The Marathon start time is 8:00 AM and is a Boston Qualifier (Certification # WI-08024-DM).  The course is from Norwalk to Sparta featuring a ¾ mile train tunnel.  The course starts in the Norwalk Village Park, heads Southeast of Norwalk Village Park approx. 1.5 miles & then turns around and heads back to the Norwalk Village Park and then heads Northwest approx. 11.5 miles and then loops back to the Village Park to complete the course.


Half Marathon Summary

The Half Marathon start time is 9:00 AM.  The course is from Norwalk toward Sparta featuring a ¾ mile train tunnel.  The course starts in the Norwalk Village Park, heads Northwest on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail.  The course follows an out and back configuration that returns to the Norwalk Village Park.


5K Run Walk Summary

The 5K Run Walk start time is 10:00 AM.  The 5K course starts in the Norwalk Village Park, heads Northwest on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail 2.5K, turns around to a finish back in the Village Park.


1 Mile Fun Run Summary

The 1 mile Fun Run start time is 11:00 AM.  The 1 Mile Fun Run course will start in the Norwalk Village Park and travel ½ mile Northwest, turn around and return to the Village Park.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in the southwestern corner of the state, just over 40 miles from the border with Minnesota and about 2 1/2 hours from Madison, the town of Norwalk typically experiences cold weather conditions in the mid-fall season, with occasional wet or frozen precipitation. In November, average monthly temperatures range between 40°F and 26°F, while precipitation totals average around 2.54 inches for the month.

Websites for More Information

  Visit these websites for more information regarding Registration fees and awards: and

Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon

September 28th, 2012 by David Reeck

Our 2011 Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon’s guests presented Amil’s Inn with 1st place trophy for providing the muffins which propelled them to 1st place!!!!!!!

The 10th Annual Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012.  The Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon event takes place within the 8,569 acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve, which boasts some of the hilliest terrain in the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin.

The challenging and scenic Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon includes a:

      *7 mile paddle down the winding Kickapoo River along rock outcroppings and through diverse vegetation.                 

      *14 mile road bike ride through the hilly driftless area.  The route takes you through the valleys and over the ridge, in one of Wisconsin’s most scenic rural landscapes.  Steep climbs and rapid decents provide the ride of a lifetime! 

       *3 mile trail run in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.  The route starts with a short stretch on Hwy P, then to a winding and wooded trail and finally leads you down the Old Highway 131 Multi-Use Trail, which is a deteriorating road bed.

 Proceeds from the Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge benefit the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Education Program. The Education Program offers unique hands-on environmental learning opportunities to students of all ages.  Provided are opportunities for students to explore an outdoor classroom and learn-by-doing in a wide range of subjects from natural history and science to team building and outdoor adventure.  In 2011, the Education Program at the Reserve served 3,750 local and regional students and community members.

 For more information about the Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge Triathlon visit   To learn more about the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Education Program and other Kickapoo Valley Reserve opportunities visit

 Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast was happy and honored to have several Dam Challenge participants as guests in 2011 and will have several participants as guests in 2012 as well.

8th Annual Driftless Area Art Festival

August 31st, 2012 by David Reeck

The 8th Annual Driftless Area Art Festival will be taking place Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, September 16, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM along the banks of the Kickapoo River in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin at the Beauford  T. Anderson Park which is near the geographical center of the Driftless Area.

The Driftless Area Art Festival is a celebration of the Driftless Area’s visual, performing and culinary arts.  The Art Festival is distinguished by its mission to showcase only regional artists.  The festival features over 80 visual art exhibitors, live music and performances and great local foods.  Free Admission and parking.

If unable to attend the Art Festival consider visiting the heart of the Driftless Area another time.  The heart of the Driftless Area is Crawford and Vernon County Wisconsin bordered by the Mississippi River on the West and the Kickapoo River on the east.  The Driftless Area was never touched by glaciers and is thus characterized by its beautifully sculpted topography.  The forested hillsides, valleys cut into limestone by cold-water trout streams, wetlands, grasslands laden with wildflowers provide an inspirational setting for many a talented artist.

Please visit and for more information on the Art Festival and the Driftless Area.

Nourish Cooking at Kickapoo Country Fair

July 30th, 2012 by David Reeck

Jennifer Downing, Chef/Instructor, giving presentation, “Pantry Basics in a Cooperative Kitchen” at the Kickapoo Country Fair.

The 9th Kickapoo Country Fair took place at the Organic Valley Headquarters, One Organic Way, La Farge Wisconsin on Saturday, July 28, 2012.  The Kickapoo Country Fair in the Midwest’s largest food and sustainability festival.  One has the opportunity to explore the flavor and family fun through dynamic speakers, live music, kid’s activities, and hands-on workshops.  For more information visit

Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast had the honor and privilege of hosting one of the culinary workshop presenters-Jennifer Downing of Nourish.  Her presentation, ‘Pantry Basics in a Cooperative Kitchen’ provided ideas, tips and recipes for keeping a well-stocked cooperative pantry:  the refrigerator, freezer, dry goods and other essentials.  Check out for the recipes used during her presentation—Backyard Swiss Chard and Bacon Frittata and Quinoa, Garbanzo and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing.

With a love for everything edible, the kitchen is the place Jennifer is most at home.  Her business, Nourish, affords her the opportunity to share her enthusiasm for teaching through small cooking classes, large presentations and hosting trips focusing on fresh foods.  Some of her specialty workshops include home cheese making, preserving and sausage making.  Jennifer’s vast food knowledge and involvement with local food policy organizations informs her delicious instruction.  She fills her classes with useful techniques, tips and strategies that help her students nourish their lives and feed those they love.  Jennifer lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, four kids, tow dogs, seven backyard hens and a hive of honeybees.  In her spare time, you may find her in the garden, reading and writing about her many passions.  To learn more about Jennifer’s presentations, see or her personal blog, In the Yellow House.

Ontario, Wisconsin 4th of July 2012

June 29th, 2012 by David Reeck

“Happy Trails to Ontario” is the 2012 Parade Theme for the 4th of July celebration in the Village of Ontario, Wisconsin located in the beautiful Kickapoo Valley!!!

The 4th of July celebration begins on Sunday, July 1 at 1:00 PM with the Blacktop Stock Antique and Farm Tractor Pull and continues through fireworks at dusk on Wednesday, July 4

The schedule of the other planned activities are as follows:

     Tuesday, July 3rd

          6:30 PM Kids and Pets Parade-line up beside the fire station

          7:00 PM Ontario Talent Show at the Community Hall

     Wednesday, July 4th

          7:00-10:00 AM Pancake Breakfast at the Community Hall

          8:00 AM Run for Fun—5K for everyone

          9:00 AM Kids Run for Fun—Ages 17 and under

          9:00 AM Flag Raising by the American Legion

         11:00 AM American Legion Auxiliary Chicken Barbecue

          Noon Parade-Theme of this year’s parade is ”Happy Trails to Ontario”.

          2:00 PM Mini Tractor Pull

          5:30 PM Pedal Tractor Pull

         6:00 PM Music on the Deck by Monty Berger & Country Gold

         Dusk  Fireworks!!!!!!


        Afternoon activities on the square and in the Community Hall:

               Inflatable’s Kinds Games

               Horse Drawn Wagon Rides

               Craft and Flea Market Booths

               Pie and Ice Cream Social in the Community Hall

               Climbing Wall from the Wisconsin National Guard

               Food Stands

               Historic picture display in the Community Hall

               Kids Softball Games

For more details on the day’s events visit

Reedsburg Medical Center Vet Fest

April 29th, 2012 by David Reeck

Your Half Marathon and 5K Finishers--David, Rachel and Paul

Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast has been blessed the past 2 years to have guests that were participants in the Rails to Trails Marathon which takes place each fall in Norwalk, Wisconsin which also includes a Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Run/Walk.  These guests were so positive and encouraging that your innkeepers were finishers in last year’s Rails to Trails 5K!!  The encouragement had a residual effect which resulted in your innkeepers to be participants in the 3rd Annual Reedsburg Medical Center Vet Fest.  Dave and Paul were finishers in the Half Marathon and Rachel was a finisher in the 5K.

The 3rd Annual Reedsburg Medical Center Vet Fest took place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Reedsburg’s Nishan Park.  The Reedsburg Medical Center Vest Fest consists of a Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk and 1 mile Walk which unfolds along a hilly and challenging course throughout Reedsburg and surrounding area.

The out-and-back loop course for the Half Marathon begins and ends in Reedsburg’s Nishan Park, a recreational park with baseball fields for Little Leaguers of all ages on Reedsburg’s Viking Drive, near the Reedsburg Jaycees building. From there, runners follow the route in and around the town and through the rolling country roads of Sauk County and then make their way back to Nishan Park, past the home of the Veterans Memorial.

In 2011, just over 330 runners crossed the finish line in the Half Marathon (143) and 5K (195).  The 2012 race consisted of 166 Half Marathon runners—89 female/77 male and 266 5K runners—177 female/89 male.  Results taken from

 The Vet Fest began as a benefit for the Reedsburg Area Veterans Memorial.  100% of the 2010 and 2011 registration fees supported the completion of the Memorial.  Over $30,000.00 was donated.  Proceeds from the 2012 annual race will go to the Reedsburg Area United Fund and the Reedsburg VFW Post 1916.  The preliminary numbers indicated that over $12,000.00 will be donated.  To learn more about the Reedsburg Veterans Memorial visit

Amil’s Inn would love to have any 4th Annual Reedsburg Medical Center Vet Fest participants as guests.  Mark your calendars for the 2013 Vet Fest Race which will be April 13, 2013.  A special race day breakfast is served to all participants!!!!!

2012 Growers Produce Auction Season

March 13th, 2012 by David Reeck

Sample of Consignment Items

The 2012 Growers Produce Auction Season is about to begin. Mark your calendars, the Spring Consignment Auction will begin at 8:30 AM sharp on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. The Spring Consignment Auction has lots of antiques, used furniture, used farm machinery, shop equipment, building materials, and so much more. This includes Amish and English items. The Amish Community will also have home cooked food for sale such as whole chicken dinners, chicken noodle soup, baked goods, pies, and more.

The Growers Produce Auction is a wholesale produce auction supplied with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and nursery stock by local growers. The auction is a great market for wholesale buyers such as roadside stands, grocery stores and restaurants. Small lots are also sold for anyone interested in household consumption or canning.

The auction method is the fairest way to purchase the fresh produce as the prices are controlled in a true supply and demand environment. Produce is picked fresh, just hours before the sale by growers within a 100 mile radius of the auction. These suppliers range from large commercial growers to small gardeners with surplus product.

Packing restrictions are in place to keep the product as uniform as possible. Large buyers can take advantage of an experienced order buyer for a 3% charge. Sellers are assigned a permanent number to enable buyers to purchase more consistently.

The Growers Produce Auction is located at S347 Dell Road, Cashton, WI 54619 (Located just off of CTH D, 5 miles SE of Cashton, WI). Visit their website at  for more information and to find the 2012 dates for Produce sales. Make sure you plan on staying for the day–you will not be disappointed!

The Growers Produce Auction is approximately 20 miles from Amil’s Inn Bed and Breakfast and we would love to have you as guests.

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