Jackson County, situated in West Central Wisconsin, is nestled among majestic mounds, beautiful rolling hills and crossed again and again by cold flowing trout streams and is almost bisected by the scenic Black River. The rich farmlands bordering the west side of Jackson County reach from Northfield to North Bend, producing a bounty of crops and farm products and the areas largest industries.
The charming communities of Jackson County offer a warm and friendly rural Wisconsin atmosphere that makes visitors feel right at home, and welcome them year round for "four seasons of fun" surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.
The country ambiance and other amenities draw thousands of visitors
annually to Jackson County - the second largest industry is tourism.
In the northeast portion of Jackson County is Hartfield-Lake Arbutus, a recreation area with a population of 50 in the winter - and 5,000 in the summer! Along with a pristine, natural beauty, Lake Arbutus offers fishing, boating, swimming and water skiing, with approximately 250 campsites along its shores.
The eastern portion of Jackson County lies mostly in state and county forests. Combined, these forests cover more than 180,000 acres. The forests have long been a favorite destination of the outdoor enthusiast. The Wazee Trail, a winding, pleasant 62-mile auto tour, traverses the areas fascinating sights.
These lands have been the home of the Winnebago Indians since long before the white man settled the area. The Indian mission, located east of the city of Black River Falls, along with Sand Pillow Indian Village, are home to many Native Americans. Red Cloud Memorial Park, the site of their biannual Indian Pow Wow, is located nearby.
The Black River and Trempealeau River and their many tributaries deliver excellent fishing - stalk the mighty Muskie, soak a line for a channel catfish or float a fly over a rising brook trout. For canoers, the Black River and its East Fork offer 75 miles of scenic waters. Along your journey you can fish, swim, sight-see, and camp on an island or rock outcropping. The lower Black River offers placid waters while the upper river and East Fork have fast-moving, rocky waters for whitewater rafting and other exciting outdoor adventures.
Jackson County and the Black River State Forest have over 254 miles of snowmobile trails crisscrossing the idyllic countryside. State trail corridors link with adjoining counties for almost limitless riding area. There are more than 100 miles of ATV trails between City Point, Pray, Lake Arbutus, Black River Falls and Millston. The Crawford Hills-Pray area has over 32 miles of motorcycle trails, 10 in the Millston area. Recreational vehicle trails are open May 15 October 15 and December 15 March 15. A new addition to the trail system is Crawford Hills ATV/Motorcycle Park with camping, picnicking and playground facilities. The forests are well-known as an excellent hunting area for deer, turkey, grouse, woodstock, waterfowl, squirrel and rabbit.
The new 18-hole Skyline Golf Course in Black River Falls will challenge the best players, handicappers and duffers alike, and is recognized as one of the most scenic course in the region.
The Black River Falls Community Park is a 44-acre multi-use recreation facility focusing on entertainment, education and the environment. Park amenities include a large community shelter and picnic areas, smaller family picnic areas, a new aquatic center, game fields and court, a childrens play area, scenic overlooks, and biking/hiking trails.
Many service clubs and organizations enhance the quality of life in Jackson County. "Project Christmas" was started here locally and distributes donated items and food to needy families. Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers coordinates volunteers from numerous area churches to serve elderly and disabled persons.
Community support for youth sports is unsurpassed in Jackson County. Summer and winter, spring and fall, children of all ages are encouraged to participate in organized athletics including baseball, softball, soccer, figure skating, hockey and more.
The Lunda Recreation Center is open to the public and has a large swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, racquetball courts, walking/jogging track and weight room. The Center serves as a high-level physical training facility as well as offering a comprehensive, year round program of recreational activities.
The Falls Players Community Theater is a showcase for exceptional local talent. Supported by large, enthusiastic audiences, generous area patronage and the Wisconsin Arts Board, the theater produces three major plays each year.
You wont find any big city traffic jams, but Jackson Countys vigorous business activity affords a wide variety of services and lifestyle conveniences. Direct access to I-94 has been an important factor to the areas growth, as has the unique cooperation between county and city administrations. Unity, along with support of local financial institutions, has created a powerful force for the continued development of economic opportunities in Jackson County. A new industrial park includes an incubator building - a flexible facility designed specifically to stimulate and support new businesses.
Agriculture is an important part of both Jackson Countys culture and economy. Superior dairy products - the areas largest industry - are only part of of the rich variety produced here. Crops include corn, oats, apples, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - the village of Alma Center has long been renowned as the "Strawberry Capital" of Wisconsin.
Another significant fruit crop produced here is cranberries, with Jackson County ranked third in the state in cranberry production. It has matured into a major industry with significant economic impact on the community.
During the fall many visitors come to see the cranberry harvest at the many cranberry marshes found throughout the eastern half of the county. The berries, along with sphagnum moss, require the unique mixture of climate, soil and water that make up the areas wetlands, a combination that is found in very few places around the world.
Forest products are another major factor in the agricultural life of the county. Pulp wood, lumber and even firewood are an important part of Jackson Countys economic picture. Yet another major forestry crop is Christmas trees - the village of Merrillan is the "Christmas Tree Capital of Wisconsin" and in 1970 had the honor of providing the National Christmas Tree adorning the White House.
The most important contribution comes from the people. Friendliness, generosity, and a strong work ethic make up the character of Jackson County.
Jackson County school systems are excellent representatives of Wisconsins outstanding tradition of public education. Superior facilities include a new, multi-million dollar school in Black River Falls. Effective curricula, special programs, and active parental involvement all attest to a positive investment in quality education.
Opportunity for higher education is available through the Black River Falls Extended Campus of Western Wisconsin Technical College. This innovative satellite campus offers valuable training to young people about to enter the work force, and to adults seeking new competitive job skills.
Several excellent child care facilities throughout the county offer the peace of mind and security of small town life with a strong focus on child development.
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