Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Mauston, WI

  • Published 2023/03/03

Travel northwest from the state capital of Wisconsin to the city of Mauston, the county seat of Juneau County.

Mauston was originally called “Maughs Town,” after its founding father, Milton Maugh.

Established in 1887, the area’s beginnings were built on early Wisonsin’s lumber industry.

With the Wisconsin River, Lemonweir River, and Decorah Lake close by, you’ll be surrounded here by the wonders of nature, wildlife, and a wide range of outdoor activities.

Mauston also boasts a rich agricultural history, with accessibility to apple orchards, dairy farms, cranberry bogs, and the Amish Country.

Experience the small-town atmosphere of the city with this list of the best things to do in Mauston, Wisconsin:

Cast a Line at Decorah Lake

A dam at Decorah Lake

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Decorah Lake is the ideal place to visit if you want to take a stroll, go fishing, or simply take in the scenery.

It is a 314-acre, 15-foot deep lake and is one of the smaller lakes in and nearby the Mauston area.

A public boat landing provides access to the lake, and a public park is within 1000 feet of the water.

The lake is crucial for preserving the area’s rich biodiversity, as a habitat for a variety of plants and animals.

Decorah Lake is a popular fishing location, home to largemouth bass, northern pike, panfish, and walleye.

Ride a Pony at Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable

Take a one-hour trail ride across 250 acres of picturesque woodlands, rolling pastures, and rivers at the Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable!

The Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable is open to everyone, from beginners to experienced riders.

Open every day of the year and located about 3 ½ miles east of the heart of Mauston, Red Ridge Ranch takes pride in its healthy, quality, and well-trained horses which provide a fun and secure ride for the whole family.

Pick from their offerings of guided trail rides, pony rides, sleigh and wagon rides, camping excursions, and Halloween festivities!

Enjoy the best of nature while horseback riding at the Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable.

Go Camping at Juneau County Castle Rock Park

Juneau County Castle Rock Park is located in a stunning, woodland region beside the 16,000-acre Castle Rock Lake in Mauston.

The park spans approximately 160 acres and features a total of 330 camping sites (200 of them have electrical hookups).

All camping unit types are welcome, and each campsite includes a picnic table and a fire ring.

Juneau County Castle Rock Park offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and water skiing.

Additional amenities include a playground, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a 9-hole disc golf course, ice and firewood, restrooms, showers, and a dump station.

All these are available for a comfortable, relaxing, and fun time at Juneau County Castle Rock Park!

Visit the Boorman House

Exterior of the Boorman House

Jeff the quiet, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Boorman House, an 1876 Victorian-style mansion situated on North Union Street, houses sizable collections of local artifacts, documents, and research materials.

It’s also the current headquarters of the Juneau County Historical Society, formed in 1963.

England native Benjamin Boorman built it for himself and Elizabeth Boorman, his first wife.

The Boorman House boasts a grand staircase, a widow’s roof walk, and a drawing room.

After Benjamin Boorman’s passing, the house changed owners several times until the Juneau County Historical Society acquired the property in 1987 from Edward W. Pierce and turned it into a historic museum.

In 1976, the Boorman House was added to the National Register of Historical Places.

Experience the Countryside at the Old Century Farm House

For an absolutely lovely and spacious rural setting, a stay at the Old Century Farm House is a must-try.

The Old Century Farm House is located approximately five miles south of the heart of Mauston and is less than 30 minutes away from Mirror Lake, Wisconsin Dells, and the 400 State Bike Trail.

Built in 1863, this historic property is perched on a quiet hill in the countryside of rural Wisconsin.

The house comfortably accommodates seven people and is ideal for those looking for a peaceful retreat or a taste of country life.

Relax in the shade of the old apple tree located on the open and airy back lawn, or take in the scenery from one of the two spacious porches.

The Old Century Farm House is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shop for Cheese at the Carr Valley Cheese Retail Store

Carr Valley Cheese is a Wisconsin tradition, having been around for more than a hundred years, owned and run by the Cook family.

Since its founding in 1902, Carr Valley Cheese has specialized in the production of premium handmade aged Cheddars and has earned numerous awards throughout the years.

Tucked away in the rolling hills and green meadows of central Wisconsin, it remains one of the State’s traditional cheese factories, known for making cheese using the old-fashioned way.

Carr Valley today makes more than 50 different varieties of cheese using milk from cows, goats, and sheep.

The cheese company currently operates eight retail stores and four cheese factories in Wisconsin, including two in Mauston—a factory and retail store on East State Street and another retail store on Gateway Avenue.

Enjoy Leisure Time at Riverside Park

Night scene at Riverside Park

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

For a relaxing morning or afternoon, visit Riverside Park along Lake Decora, close to the Mauston City Hall.

This 3.5-acre park offers plenty of green spaces, benches, and picnic areas.

Riverside Park offers three shelters: near the playground, in the middle, and near the boat launch.

Park visitors can enjoy boating and fishing directly from the fishing pier.

Riverside Park is an excellent place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the lake or spend leisure time like taking a stroll or a quick run before or after work.

Enjoy Sports at the Woodside Sports Complex

Woodside Sports Complex is the largest all-turf and one of the best multi-sport facilities in the Midwest.

Woodside Sports Complex has three facilities in the State offering numerous turf fields and sports amenities: the Mauston Sports Complex in Mauston, the Dells Sports Complex, and Dells Dome in Wisconsin Dells.

This 245-acre complex in Mauston opened in 2013 and features eight synthetic turf baseball and softball fields, plus a full concession area.

Old Towne Hotel is just a few steps away from the Woodside Sports Complex’s entrance, perfect if you’re a traveling athlete or a team.

It also hosts tournaments, camps, clinics, and other activities for all ages!

From its meticulously maintained outdoor synthetic turf fields to its 90,000-square foot column-less indoor multi-purpose dome, Woodside Sports Complex offers any athlete or the entire family unforgettable experiences.

Book a Tubing Excursion with Sandy Shores Tubing

Enjoy the serene waters, sandy shores, and wonderful scenery along the Wisconsin River with Sandy Shores Tubing.

Sandy Shores Tubing is situated eight miles east of Mauston and is only a quick drive from Wisconsin Dells.

All of their tubing excursions on the Wisconsin River include U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, professional tubes, tube ties, and free shuttle service.

Enjoy this three-mile self-guided float, which lasts about two to three hours or more, depending on how much time you spend along the way (you can stop by along the shores).

On your excursion, you’ll pass by several sandbars and the Highway 82 bridge; it culminates with a breathtaking sight of Cliff House Rock.

Ride a Kayak along the Lemonweir River

The waters of Lemonweir River

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

For water enthusiasts, a paddle along the Lemonweir River, a tributary of the Wisconsin River, is a must-try.

The Lemonweir River begins in Monroe County close to Tomah and flows through New Lisbon and Mauston in Juneau County before reaching the Wisconsin River.

The river’s Menominee name is Manōnaeh-Sipiah, which translates to “red or yellow earth, clay or chalk-like river”.

The flow is typically slow to moderate; nevertheless, it’s something adventure seekers will enjoy.

Riverside Park offers a boat landing for river access, public parking, and restrooms.

Another access point is at the base of the Mauston Dam and ends at the Lemonweir Mills Canoe Launch.

Hike a Trail at Mile Bluff/Kwanis Park

The Mile Bluff/Kwanis Park offers open spaces, hiking trails, bluff overlooks, a disc golf course, and a sledding hill during winter.

This 20.5-acre park is located directly on the southern part of the Hess Memorial Hospital on a forested butte that extends from the surrounding landscape.

The park also has swings, picnic tables and grills, a basketball hoop, and a parking lot.

The hill can be a bit of a climb, but the sweeping views on top are nonetheless beautiful.

The Mile Bluff/Kwanis Park is a terrific location for a quick outdoor excursion on a weekend with a partner, friends, or family.

Play Airsoft at Action Sports Wisconsin

If you’re in for some adrenaline rush, Action Sports Wisconsin is the perfect location for outdoor urban combat!

Action Sports Wisconsin, the Midwest’s largest multi-level outdoor urban combat field, prides itself on offering airsoft play unlike any other.

Experience warfare in an urban setting with an 80-acre mock city built with more than 40 shipping containers.

This 60-acre modern and realistic facility features numerous play areas like slums, suburbs, and cities, which are equipped with barricades, man-made bunkers, open fields, several kinds of wood with natural landscapes, and more obstacles.

The area is designed to be played for both small and big groups, perfect for either family weekend play or massive events of more than 400 players!

They also offer night plays with interior lights and full streetlights, which means players can enjoy the facility both day and night!

Regardless of your skill level, Action Sports Wisconsin is the ultimate place to play urban combat with your gang.

Join the Annual Juneau County Fair

Ferris wheel at the Annual Juneau County Fair

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Celebrating more than 150 years, the Juneau County Fair is a Mauston tradition.

It is held on Division Street at the Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Juneau County Fair is a family-friendly affair that takes place in August and typically runs a full week.

Vehicle parade at the Annual Juneau County Fair

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Run by the Juneau County Agriculture Society, the County Fair strives to support and promote agriculture, dairying, stock raising, manufacturing, and other activities that enhance Juneau County’s resources.

Come join the fun with Juneau County Fair’s plenty of offerings including the Fairest of the Fair, Craft and Farm Market, Three Hills P.R.C.A Rodeo, Auto and ATV demonstrations, animal shows and exhibits, and more!

People at the Annual Juneau County Fair

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Browse Artworks at Oh! Arts

Oh! Arts is a gallery, a specialty store, a gift shop, and an art teaching facility.

Oh! Arts was founded by a group of friends and artists who draws on their skills and the incredible talents of other artists to establish a creative community.

It’s the ideal location for you to commission art for your house or purchase a unique souvenir for yourself or your loved ones.

Visitors to the shop can also join art lessons, enjoy music, relax with a massage, and unleash their artistic talents!

If you’re an art lover or looking for interesting pieces, check out Oh! Arts on East State Street.

Volunteer at the Outdoors Forever Club

The Outdoors Forever Club is Juneau County’s premier conservation club, committed to the responsible, moral, and economical utilization of natural resources.

The Club owns 170 acres of natural wildlife habitat and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Two of their five properties are the Duffy Road property which offers public fishing activities and the Nelson property which is open to the public for wildlife watching and for launching canoes or kayaks on the Lemonweir River.

Come visit and discover the Club’s wildlife, habitat, and educational programs, such as Pheasant Rearing and Hunter Safety Course.

Additionally, they provide entertaining kids’ programs like the annual Kids Free Ice Fisheree, a youth ice fishing event, and Kid’s Day, which involves making birdhouses, conservation talks, and other interactive activities.

If you wish to get involved as a volunteer, Outdoors Forever Club is more than happy to offer volunteer opportunities that best suit you and your enthusiasm for the outdoors!

Final Thoughts

Mauston is a paradise for outdoor adventures, thanks to the neighboring Wisconsin River and its tributary, the Lemonweir River, which runs through the city.

These rivers and the scenic landscapes that surround the city offer opportunities for families and friends to bond and create memories together.

Whether you choose to relax in a calm setting or enjoy an adrenaline rush, let this list of the best things to do in Mauston, Wisconsin be your guide for your chosen adventure!

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