A rural vibe and some dose of urban delights meld in the things to do in Verona, a town in Dane County, Wisconsin.
This town was founded in 1847, with forests and rivers as well as active farms dominating its 7.55-square-mile landscape.
Verona maintains roadways extending for more than 40 miles, a stretch that competitive and recreational bikers can enjoy.
Natural features, such as the Sugar River and the Badger Mill Creek, further lend charm to this town.
With its various quaint features, Verona has earned the nickname “Hometown USA” and celebrates it in an annual summer event.
Have a preview of the fun activities you can expect in a visit to this town on the following list of the best things to do in Verona, Wisconsin.
Learn Glacial History at Prairie Moraine County Park
Wisconsin’s glacial history takes center stage at Prairie Moraine County Park accessible from Verona’s Wesner Lane.
This park spreads over 160 acres and features the Johnstown Moraine where an overlook unveils scenic views.
This vantage point is located on the moraine’s narrow crest and offers a fantastic panorama of a restored oak savannah.
The park offers mowed play areas and an extensive trail network, including a section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Interpretive signs in the park provide information about the landforms that the Ice Age created in it.
Visitors of Prairie Moraine County Park can download an app that provides audio they can listen to while exploring the park’s point of interest.
They can also bring their dogs, as there’s a 79-acre off-leash dog park here as well.
Hit the Military Ridge State Trail
The Military Ridge State Trail stretches for 40 miles between Verona and the city of Dodgeville to the west in Iowa County.
You can access its trailhead from the parking lot on Country Road J.
This car-less trail traverses the downtown Verona district where you can have a side trip to its attractions which include plenty of retail and dining choices.
The trail is accessible both to bikers and pedestrians.
It traces the corridor of the former Chicago and North Western railroad which was an 1855 military route.
The trail meanders across the wetlands and hill country adjacent to Highway 18-151.
Lush woodlands dominate a large portion of the Military Ridge State Trail.
At certain elevated points, the trail offers amazing views of the hills and valleys radiating from the ridge.
These vistas include agricultural lands, wetlands, forests, and prairies along the southern borders of two state parks—Governor Dodge and Blue Mound.
Fly a Drone at Badger Prairie County Park
An aeromodelling field is one of the main attractions of the Badger Prairie County Park which spreads over 317 acres.
This park is located on Verona’s eastern periphery at the junction of East Verona Avenue and U.S. Highway 18 and 151.
The park is the only public facility in Dane County where you can fly RC aircraft models and drones.
This recreational activity in the park requires a permit which is available for application online.
Other park facilities include play fields, a shelter, a playground, and an 11-acre dog park.
Badger Prairie County Park is also connected to local trail networks, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and the Military Ridge State Trail.
Enjoy the Facilities of Hometown U.S.A. Community Park
At 40.2 acres, Hometown U.S.A. Community Park is Verona’s largest city-owned park and with the most facilities.
This park is located along East Verona Avenue and is home to the Eagle’s Nest Ice Arena offering year-round skating.
This arena is also open to hockey, and the area next to it welcomes skaters during winter.
The park, in addition, features a skateboard ramp and several baseball fields where games of the Verona Little League are played.
Other sports facilities in this park include softball, football, and lacrosse.
Hometown U.S.A. Community Park has picnic shelters too and pathways that enable access to the Military Ridge State Trail.
Cool Off at Fireman's Park Beach
A summer visit to Verona makes its Fireman's Park Beach on Paoli Street Corner Bruce Street quite inviting.
You and your family can cool off in relative safety in this swimming hole which was a former limestone quarry.
Certified lifeguards man this beach seven days a week during the facility’s operating hours.
You can also enjoy the beach with several shade structures and let the kids have fun at the facility’s splash pad.
The park provides two piers for onshore fishing which can yield catches of bass and bluegill.
The beach also has food concessions and a shelter with changing rooms.
Beach guests can bring their own food and coolers, but alcoholic drinks and glass containers aren’t allowed in Fireman's Park Beach.
Kayak on the Sugar River
Paddling a kayak on Sugar River starts best at the Sugar River Wetlands State Natural Area in Verona.
A boat launch is accessible on Sugar River Valley Road near this natural area.
Rentals are available locally for those who want to paddle or float on the river.
Paddlers love tackling the river’s stretch in Verona because the waters here are relatively clearer.
Verona’s stretch of the river is west of its headwaters and exudes charm in its natural beauty.
The well-maintained Sugar River Wetlands State Natural Area also serves as a thriving wildlife habitat.
Do Laps at the Goodman Aquatic Center
The Goodman Aquatic Center is an environment-friendly watersports facility on County Road PD.
The aquatic center’s pool offers swimmers six 25-meter lanes designed for lap swimming.
This 5,500-square-foot outdoor pool features zero-depth entry, making it conveniently accessible to anyone.
Goodman Aquatic Center boasts a saltwater generator to effectively sanitize its pool waters, benefitting the environment as well as swimmers.
This procedure does away with using chlorine in large amounts to keep a pool sanitary for swimming.
As another environment-friendly measure, large solar panels are used in the aquatic center to heat its pool.
The poolside features a shaded area with deck chairs where you can relax and enjoy a snack from nearby concessions after a swim.
Experience a DIY Tour of the Epic Campus
The campus of Epic, a software developer in Verona, comes alive during self-guided tours on weekends.
Epic, which mainly develops software geared toward health and wellness, is located on Northern Lights Road.
Its Verona campus spreads over nearly 350 acres, a far cry from when it started from a basement in 1979.
A tour of Epic’s campus takes you to an unspoiled Verona countryside dotted with themed buildings inspiring visitors’ fantasies.
With these themes, you’ll see buildings that hail Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Wizard of Oz, and other famed fantasy characters.
Epic welcomes visitors in its Voyager Hall where there’s an observation deck with outdoor seating and commanding views of the campus’ south side.
Epic Park is also on the northeast side of the campus, featuring a fun playground and a sledding hill for kids.
Pick a Fun Event at the Hometown USA Festival
A wide selection of fun events is available during the annual Verona Hometown Days traditionally scheduled in June.
This community festival was inspired by a group of Vietnam War veterans who named Verona in 1966 as the perfect example of a U.S. hometown.
It runs for three days, with events lined up at the Hometown USA Festival Park located behind the ice arena on Verona Avenue.
The festival typically starts with an easy trail run on the Military Ridge State Trail near the park onward and back to the Ice Age Trail.
The trail runners can celebrate their finish with free beer from a regular donor, Wisconsin Distributors.
Music concerts, a carnival, parlor games, and a petting farm also count among the other attractions of Verona Hometown Days.
Sample the Beers of Wisconsin Brewing Company
Visit the taproom of the Wisconsin Brewing Company where you can sample 12 to 14 types of beer every day.
Located on American Way, Wisconsin Brewing manufactures beer from an $11-million facility that started production in 2013.
Its products include not only beer but also hard seltzers and non-alcoholic drinks.
Boom Run, an oatmeal stout, and Not Your Father's Root Beer with 10.7% alcohol are among the drinks most sampled at Wisconsin Brewing.
Live music, card games, and trivia nights are among the events that this brewer hosts on its premises adjacent to a pond.
Shop at the Verona Downtown Farmers Market
Visitors of Verona level up during summer, with its Downtown Farmers Market added to the city’s attractions during this time of the year.
This summer farmers market is held Wednesday afternoons at the Hometown Junction Park on the intersection of Street and South Main Street.
Its attractions include not only locally sourced healthy foods but also live music and art displays.
Notably, Downtown Farmers Market started in 2016 as an artists and farmers market.
The creative bent of this event manifests in its Market Under 20 program which caters specifically to selling creations of young artists.
Hunt Waterfowl at the Sugar River Wildlife Area
Visitors of Verona can experience the thrill of a hunt with a visit to the Sugar River Wildlife Area.
This public hunting area spreads over 34 acres, wedged between the Military Ridge State Trail and US Highway 151.
It is accessible from the south via Bobcat Lane and through Country View Road or Epic Lane in the south.
A lowland/wetland landscape dominates this wildlife area mainly offering opportunities for hunting waterfowl.
Visitors of the wildlife area can park and launch a boat in the south at Bobcat Lane.
A gravel parking lot is also available north of Country View Road.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Break Par at the University Ridge Golf Course
A public facility, the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison offers an interesting layout on its par 72 links.
The course follows the ridge and rolling terrain of the terminal moraine where the Wisconsin Glacier stopped during the last Ice Age.
This 18-hole golf course offers five sets of tees for golfers to match their skills and experience.
Depending on the tee choice, a round of play in the course can range from 5,005 to 7,289 yards.
University Ridge Golf Course opened in 1991, with its design from the drawing boards of famed course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr.
It is a seven-minute drive from Verona.
Tour the University of Wisconsin Arboretum
The University of Wisconsin Arboretum offers an interesting side trip following a visit to Verona.
The arboretum spreads over 1,200 acres on the university’s campus on Seminole Highway in the city of Madison, 13 miles northeast of Verona.
For starters, you can drop by the Arboretum’s Visitor Center for an orientation and a look at nature-themed murals.
The arboretum boasts three gardens open for tours during spring, summer, and fall, offering to delight and educate your mind and senses.
The gardens’ collection presents the rich diversity of the trees, shrubs, and vines native to Wisconsin.
At the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, you can also explore the trails covering over 17 miles and traversing restored prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and savannas.
Visit Madison Children's Museum
A fascinating experience awaits kids visiting the Madison Children's Museum on North Hamilton Street in Madison, about 13 miles northeast of Verona.
This museum, which opened in 1980, offers a slew of educational and interactive exhibits laid out on its three floors.
The museum’s exhibits include a rotating display of interesting toys and artworks related to childhood.
Added fun awaits kids at the museum’s Wonderground featuring a unique outdoor play space.
The play equipment in this area includes bridges, climbing tubes, and spiral slide woven together in a double-decker birdhouse sculpture.
With the Wonderground, the museum gets an additional 10,000 square feet of space.
Its components melding natural and upcycled materials further endear Madison Children’s Museum to visitors.
A trip to Verona promises to be a rewarding experience not only because of its natural Wisconsin attractions.
There’s also much to enjoy in the hometown vibe that Verona has preserved so well.
On this aspect alone, there’s so much joy to expect in the best things to do in Verona, Wisconsin.