Welcome back to another bonus episode of The Cabin Podcast, the official podcast of Discover Wisconsin. Susan Fochs and Eric Paulsen welcome Michelle Gormican Thompson back in from the Wisconsin Counties Association to discuss stories and the wonders of Sauk County. This Bonus Episode is sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association (https://www.wicounties.org/)
This bonus episode is part of the Uniquely Wisconsin series, a broadcast and streaming series that spotlights the untold stories of Wisconsinites and highlights the communities in which they live. From the emotional and heartwarming, to the humorous and the historic, the Uniquely Wisconsin brand captures the essence of the people of America’s Dairyland. While still a Discover Wisconsin feel, we're doing a deeper dive into the culture that makes up each county and how it forms Wisconsin’s culture. This week, we highlight Sauk County.
We begin with facts about Sauk County, noting its incredible natural beauty and variety in landscapes, robust towns, and interesting history. Baraboo, the county seat, is home to the Ringling Brothers Circus as well as the AL. Ringling Theater, Mansion, and Brewery. It also offers visitors the Ochsner Park Zoo, Driftless Glen Distillery, Circus World Museum, and nearby access to Devil’s Lake State Park. Other places to explore include Reedsburg, Merrimac, Spring Green, Wisconsin Dells, and more.
In terms of Community Support, we discussed People Helping People, a nonprofit based in Baraboo founded by Bill & Yvette Harris. Designed to help people pay each other forward, People Helping People programs include “Adopt a Family,” “Stomp Out Hunger,” and “Adopt a Veteran” along with a school supply and work ready program, where they offer mentorship and free career training to those in need.
Looking towards the future, Gavin Farms is a place where, at an active farm that dates back generations, people can learn more about caring for animals and the land, where their food comes from, and how you can discover ways to eat local, cleaner, and enjoy more flavor and nutrition from your meals.
The natural beauty of Sauk County can be expressed though many examples, and the Great Sauk State Trail is a wonderful way to enjoy them. Wisconsin’s newest state trail, it was established in 2017 on an old railroad bed. The Great Sauk Trail provides a beautiful trip through the history and geology of Sauk County, following the Wisconsin River past Prairie du Sac and Sauk City…and then up through the Merrimac area.
Tumbled Rock Brewery & Kitchenis an example of the growing craft beer, wine, and spirits trend in Sauk County. Perched right along Highway 136 by the entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park, Tumbled Rock offers a variety of unique craft brews, an extensive menu from pizzas to artisan crafted dishes, and an expansive place to sit, relax, and enjoy music between its main restaurant building and the tap room and brewery across the way. You can also enjoy the Baraboo Bluffs Winery, Mead King, and more.
We also talked with Melanie Platt-Gibson, Sauk County’s Director of Development, who shared more stories with us on what makes Sauk County unique and a great place for both artists and entrepreneurs.
Michelle then offers a preview of what we can watch on Uniquely Wisconsin’s Sauk County episode online, including stories about Ishnala Supper Club in Lake Delton, Circus World in Baraboo, and the legendary American Players Theater in Spring Green.