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Kickapoo Valley Reserve - Triathalon

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Kickapoo Valley Reserve - Triathalon

My son and a friend have registered for the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Triathalon the same weekend we will be in Milwaukee for a college visit. Since the secret to a happy life is being flexible, I'm trying to shift gears and figure out if we can support him at the event rather than dawdling around campus alone .... It appears that it is about a three hour drive from Milwaukee to the starting line which is 1.5 miles north of Laforge. I'm from California and am completely unfamiliar with southwestern Wisconsin so any suggestions anyone has to offer on places to stay closer to the starting line, places to eat (grandma is diabetic so I need to have a game plan for meal times), how long it REALLY takes to drive from Milwaukee or the Dells to Laforge, or suggestions for things we should see in the area will be greatly appreciated. The park itself sounds lovely and I'd be happy to grab a canoe and float down the river, but I"m afraid they will all be fully deployed for the canoeing section of the race!

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1. Re: Kickapoo Valley Reserve - Triathalon

It is approximately 3 hours 15 mins from Milwaukee to LaFarge. From LaFarge to the Dells area is approximately 1 hour and 15 mins. Part of the trip from Milwaukee is interstate- 65 mph. Once you get off the interstate, the pace is slower, you will go through small towns, roads are curvy, hilly. There might be Amish buggies.

This area is some of the most scenic in the state of WI. Leaf colors should just be starting to turn when you get there. If you look at the triathalon website, it gives you ideas of things to do in the area. There are lots of apple orchards, grape picking, Amish and Mennonite farms, state parks, etc. Western WI, is very special in many ways.

I will leave the ideas of hotels and restaurants to other tripadvisor people.

Madison, WI
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116 posts
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2. Re: Kickapoo Valley Reserve - Triathalon

LaFarge is really a destination - it is not 'on the way' to anywhere. Thus, the estimates of travel time from Milwaukee of 3-plus hours are reasonably accurate, depending on route. The two most common routes would be (1) follow I-90 west to about Mauston and then take Route 82 west through Elroy and Hillsboro to (eventually) LaFarge; or (2) follow Route 14 west out of Madison, through Richland Center to Readstown where you connect to Route 133 north through Viola to LaFarge. This latter route is quite scenic and none of the towns are large enough to cause confusion on turns. It is not fast as traffic goes, but it is scenic.

If you search the TA site for lodging, you'll discover that there are not many choices close to LaFarge - I would not choose any of the B&B's listed (all 3) unless you seek a 'rustic' experience. IMHO, your best choice is to spend the night(s) in Viroqua, the nearest larger town about 10 miles west of LaFarge. There are a couple of 1970's era motels, plus one very nice B&B, the Heritage Inn. I have stayed at the Heritage several years ago and found it to be a pleasant place. Most TA reviews are complimentary. Travel between Viroqua and Lafarge is quite simple - there are not a lot of choices, but there is no 'rush hour' traffic either. If your travels occur in October, the Kickapoo Valley has some lovely fall colors thanks to the many sugar maple forests on north and east facing hills. And the Amish buggies are not that common unless you travel near Cashton and Ontario, the center of the Amish community in the north end of the Kickapoo Valley.

There are also few places to eat, especially if you have someone with diet restrictions. Larger towns like Viroqua and Westby offer slightly more choices, but coffee shops and a few stools at the local QuickTrip pass as 'restaurants' in many of the small towns in this region. Good luck on the dining end.

3. Re: Kickapoo Valley Reserve - Triathalon

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