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Fall color show By MELODY PARKER

It’s time to savor fall. Trees cloak themselves in warm, rich autumn colors, the air’s crisp chill reminds us winter lies just ahead and the urge to get outdoors and enjoy it can’t be denied. Along with the scenery, we want to indulge ourselves in familiar, homey avors. In the Courier’s “Closer to Homeâ€? travel special section, you’ll find destinations for fall and winter adventures, our picks for the best trails, places to go and things to do in our own backyard, wine trails and seasonal scenic color.

Fall color reports In Iowa, check the fall color hot line at (515) 233-4110, starting at the end of September. Updates are weekly for each region in the state, provided by Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau. Timing is everything, and the quality of fall color varies each year throughout the state, beginning from mid-September through mid-October. Weather has a tremendous impact on fall leaves. Clear days, cool nights and dry weather promotes pretty fall color. Heavy rainfall, winds and early freezes can cause leaf tours to ďŹ zzle. For the best beauty pageant, look no farther than Northeast Iowa. State and county parks, wildlife areas, rivers and, of course, the Great River Road that runs along the Mississippi offer great scenic views. Peak fall color occurs in Northeast Iowa, on the average, on the weekend closest to Oct. 10. Peak fall color occurs later in the more southern parts of the state, but it all depends on the weather. The forestry bureau has fall color information on its Web site that gives approximate best viewing times and what colors different trees produce.

Welcome the changing season closer to home with scenic drives There are more than 21 scenic byways in Minnesota, each offering views as the seasons change. Generally, Minnesota DNR reports peak fall color arrives in the northern one-third of the state between mid-September and early October. The central third of the state averages late September and early October; and southern Minnesota from late September to mid-October. North Shore Drive along Lake Superior tends to turn a week later. Again, check current conditions C OURTESY P HOTO because bad weather can spoil the La Salle Canyon at Starved Rock show. Park in Illinois. Among the scenic drives that offers fall color and plenty of Minnesota antique shops is the St. Croix The Fall Color Report is already up Valley along Highway 95 from at Minnesota’s tourism Web site, Taylor Falls to Afton. There are

Aplington/Parkersburg come for a visit!


November 5, 6 and 7 Chocolate Walk Selling tickets through September 30: $8 Through October: $10 At The Door: $12 Seven businesses are participating. At each you can pick up a trufe.




December 12 Christmas Open Houses Santa Visits

wooded hillsides, cliffs and river views at Interstate, Wild River, William O’Brien and Afton state parks. The parkways around Minneapolis offer more scenic drives, ranging from views of the Mississippi River to Minnehaha Falls. Fall color in the Mississippi River Valley between Hastings and LaCrescent peaks in mid-

October, and the drive features steep hillsides, river towns, and scenic overlooks at Frontenac and Great River Bluffs state parks. All of these are popular fall drives, so make plans early for overnight stays or go during the week to avoid crowds.

See COLOR, page 3

Decorah can satisfy your Fall 2009 appetite! September 20 Peake’s Apple Orchard Hay Rides • Sundays through mid-November, Decorah September 26 4th Annual Grape Stomp Winneshiek Wildberry Winery September 26-27 Fort Atkinson Rendezvous Days October 9-11 0DU  12th Annual Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour • 45 ARTISTS October 23-24 • 36 LOCATIONS Holiday Showcase of Homes "TDFOJD GSFF ESJWF Sponsored by ZPVSTFMGUPVSUPOBUJPOBM Winneshiek Medical Center DBMJCFS BXBSEXJOOJOH December 4 "SUJTUTtBMMXJUIJO Downtown Decorah NJMFTPG%FDPSBI Christmas Parade December 5-6 Norwegian Christmas Weekend at Vesterhein



B renda’s U pholstery 211-1/2 3rd Street • Parkersburg, IA 50665

563-735-5809 Visit our website for event listing and hours: Highway 52 North, then right on the North Winn Rd. for four miles, then right one mile on 337th St.


COLOR From page 2 Wisconsin The fall color report is online at and continuously updated for the lowdown on leaf change. Wyalusing State Park near Prairie du Chien is one of Wisconsin’s oldest state parks. The river town is Wisconsin’s second-oldest community and is the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. Visitors can enjoy river vistas, a canoe trail, fishing, boating, bird watching and meandering color-drenched trails. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway parallels the Mississippi River for 250 miles in the state, and the route features forested valleys and limestone bluffs. Find the Great River Road Interpretive Center and taste and tour at the National Brewery Museum in Potosi. The

Color palette Ash: Green ash leaves turn yellow, but white ash has a purplish cast. The leaves fall after those of walnut trees, but earlier than those of oaks and maples. Bur Oak: Buff to yellow colors predominate in bur oaks. The leaves remain on the tree and turn brown before falling. Elms: Elm leaves turn various shades of yellow with some turning brown before falling, others falling while still yellow. Hickory: Leaves turn yellow on hickory trees, then brown before falling. Maple (Soft): The leaves of soft (silver) maples turn yellow but do not turn brown before falling. Maple (Hard): Brilliant flame red hues are the signature of hard maple leaves. The red pigmentation of some leaves breaks down before falling. Oak (Red): The red oaks have brilliant red leaves in fall though the color is probably not as intense as that of some hard maples. Oak (White): White oaks have a more subdued purple fall leaf color. The leaves then turn brown and often stay on the tree until new leaves begin to grow in the spring. Source: Iowa DNR


complex features an operating brewery, brewpub restaurant and the museum in a restored 1820s brewery.

ed one mile south of Utica on the south side of the Illinois River. Visitors will find sandstone bluffs, 13 miles of nature trail and 18 canyons in the park. Trolley rides and scenic walks are the order of the day, followed by a stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge. Accommodations include private log cabins or rooms at the lodge, an indoor pool and dining in the Great Hall.

Illinois Adventures await in the land of Lincoln. The state’s weekly fall color updates can soon be found at www.enjoyillinois. com. One stand-out destination is Starved Rock State Park, locat-



Fall color sets Backbone State Park ablaze near Strawberry Point. IOWA TOURISM OFFICE PHOTO

redericksburg F Fall 2009 ... it’s a great time of year!

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Sponsored by the Fredericksburg Women of Today. This event is held in October of each year, usually around the 3rd weekend of October. Kids and parents travel on a horse-drawn wagon to the pumpkin patch to pick out their pumpkin. Each ride takes approximately 1/2 hour. Call Rose Nordaas 563/237-5924 for more information.

Hometown Christmas • December 5th Sponsored by the Fredericksburg Women of Today.

There are silent auction items to bid on ... where the proceeds go to community betterment. There are tables and tables of craft items and baked goods. Hometown Christmas is held at the Fredericksburg Community Center 151 West Main Street on the first weekend of December.

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us for the Iowa Wine Trail, November 7 and 8. See website for Bed and Breakfast and Wine Trail ticket specials for that weeekend. The Farm House Bed and Breakfast . . . is a Victorian Farm House located on a real working farm with an adjoining 4-mile nature trail.

The Farm House Shop . . . features and sells our own Farm House Wines, local products, as well as wine accessories gifts, and antiques. Mon.-Sat. 11-5 The Farm House Gathering Room . . . is a private dining room for

friends and families. For info call Chef Sharon 563-380-5963. • Located on Hwy. 18 east side of Fredericksburg 563-237-5969

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Quick escapes You won’t need to pack a bag to enjoy music, theater, museums By AMIE STEFFEN

Let’s be honest. Not all of us can afford all these trips to Madison, Minneapolis and Chicago. We are saving and cutting back, and out-of-state excursions are one of the ďŹ rst things to go. But does that mean we mope around here, with nothing to do? Hardly. If you think a weekend in the Cedar Valley means parting with museums, theater, live music, sports and other large-city ame-

nities, well, we just feel sorry for you, because you’re wrong. This weekend, forget about the movie rental and discover (or rediscover) what it means to be a tourist in your own town. Here is just a smattering of what you could indulge in this fall — without overindulging your wallet. COURTESY PHOTO

Music The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra has begun its 80th year delighting audiences with classical, chamber, pops and family concerts. You don’t need a tux or fancy dress

The new Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum at the Grout Museum District in Waterloo. to attend a concert for a decidedly low price — tickets for the upcoming “Passion and ProkoďŹ evâ€? performance Oct. 3 at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing

mances by students at the Arts Center start at just $9. Colleges in the area also offer University of Northern Iowa music performances of all vari- are usually free, while UNI and eties by their student groups. Solo and small group perforSee ESCAPE, page 5

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ESCAPE From page 4 Wartburg large-group concerts are usually anywhere from free to $10 or $15. Check out www.wartburg. edu/music or music for schedules and pricing.

Theater For large-scale productions from national and international touring companies, Gallagher-Bluedorn in Cedar Falls is the venue. With no problems handling the sets of full musical productions like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Miss Saigonâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;RENTâ&#x20AC;? in previous years, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll know they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cut corners when you check out â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mamma Miaâ&#x20AC;? Oct. 30-Nov. 1 or the annual performance of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nutcrackerâ&#x20AC;? in November. The Waterloo Community Playhouse, Black Hawk Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Theatre, Cedar Falls Community Theatre and others continue to pump out quality performances throughout the year. And once again, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky to have multiple colleges in the area for talent and performances. The Strayer-Wood Theatre at UNI is one such venue, putting on four productions this year, including Peter Weissâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tony Award-winning play, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marat/Sade,â&#x20AC;? in November. Wartburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neumann Auditorium brings in performances large and small with their Artists Series and the Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t discount high school performances and other theater groups, at The Lampost in Cedar Falls and various high schools in the area.

Sports The fact that the UNI football team forced the Iowa Hawkeyes to recalculate their game shows you this championship team will once again be a contender in their fall season in the UNIDome. And the UNI volleyball team also is seeing a spike in wins, and all fall sports teams from both UNI and the Wartburg are looking for attendance at their matches, meets and games to increase at the Dome, McLeod Center and The W. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not forget about the wildly popular Waterloo Black Hawks hockey team, champions in their own right and the reason for cowbells at Young Arena in Waterloo. Home games happen all the time, including during the week, all the way through May â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and tickets can be had for as little as $10. The Cedar Valley Vikings football team plays in the Dome, and the Waterloo Bucks baseball team plays at Riverfront Stadium in the summer months.

FALL TRAVEL Museums Get your art ďŹ x at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, which not only boasts the largest public collection of Haitian art in the country, but has the brand-new Phelps Youth Pavilion speciďŹ cally for the kiddies. Take a drive to the James and Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls or the UNI Museum in Cedar Falls. For more tangible history and science, your best bet is the Grout Museum District. With several museums under its wing, including the Bluedorn Science

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THE COURIER Imaginarium and the new Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, you can take an interactive tour through war experiences of veterans, do science experiments and take in the history of Waterloo. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the Ice House Museum and Little Red Schoolhouse in Cedar Falls, and the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum and the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo. And for a unique art and dining experience, check

out Waterlooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Galleria de Paco.

Etc. tourist spots

â&#x2013; For a walk in the park, or a nice bike ride, check out Hartman Reserve Nature Center or George Wyth State Park. And speaking of bike rides, the Cedar Valley Trails system is arguably one of the best in the Midwest, with its series of loops allowing riders to choose the length of their route and end where they began without having to backtrack.

See ESCAPE, page 10


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Iowa boasts a bumper crop of autumn festivals Outdoor Entertainment at John Ernest Vineyard & Winery, Tama, (641) 484-8048, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3. ChuckTown BrewFest, Cedar Ridge Golf Course, Charles City,, Sept. 26. Oktemberfest, Marshalltown, (641) 752-6493,, Sept. 24-27. Pella Fall Festival, (641) 6282409,, Sept. 26. Festival of the Arts Craft and Quilt Show, Dyersville, www., Sept. 26-27. Brew Fest, Waterloo, G rout Museum District,, Sept. 26. Indianola Log Cabin Festival, Warren County Fairgrounds, Sept. 26-27. Toast & Jam Concert Series at Park Farm Winery, Bankston,, Sept. 27, Oct.

4, 11, 18 and 25. Sunday Aftertunes at Fireside Winery, Marengo, (319) 6624222,, Sept. 7, Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Oktoberfest, Festhalle Barn, Amana Colonies, 800-579-2294,, Oct. 2-4. Fall Metro Gallery Tour, Cedar Rapids, (319) 366- 7503, www., Oct. 2. Buffalo Ranch Open House, Tama, (641) 484-6725, www., Oct. 3. Harvest Festival, Wine, Art, and All that Jazz, Clear Lake, Oct. 3 AnnualHawkWatchWeekend, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Harpers Ferry, Oct. 3-4. What Cheer Collectors Paradise Flea Market, (641) 634-2109,, Oct. 3-4. Chili Cook-Off and Open

House in Cable Car Square, Dubuque, Oct. 3. Family Weekend: Fall Harvest at Living History Farms, Urbandale, (515) 278-5286, www., Oct. 3-4. Fall Foliage Cruises Aboard the Spirit of Dubuque, www., Oct. 9-21. Northeast Iowa Artists’Studio Tour, Decorah, (563) 382-2295,,Oct. 9-11. Leaf Arts and Crafts Festival, McGregor/Marquette, Oct. 10-11. PumpkinFest 2009, Riverside,, Oct. 10. Nevada Uncorked,An Event of Art & Wine, (515) 382-6538, www., Oct. 10. Le Claire Apple Fest, Mississippi Valley Welcome Center,, Oct. 11.

See FESTIVALS, page 8

Readlyn Fall 2009

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Hike or bike trails for a taste of fall sunshine By AMIE STEFFEN

Sure, travelers can drive, hop on a plane or take a train trip to see the sights and sounds of a travel destination. But isn’t it more about the journey? If you’re able and willing, pedestrian- and bicyclefriendly trails abound in the Midwest. This time of year, with the autumn colors showing their best, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to enjoy the season. So take a short drive to one of the eight major trails we’ve chosen from among the best in the upper Midwest. Bring your rollerblades, bring your walking stick and bring the whole family as you “fall” in love with the outdoors all over again. You can find all these and more trails in the Midwest and around the country at

Iowa Cedar Valley Nature Trail: Beyond the glorious loop system we enjoy in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, there’s a very popular linear north-south trail that runs all the way to Cedar Rapids — or will again, once the flooded-out bridges are all fixed sometime next year. For now, it’s worth taking it in sections to bike the 52-mile Cedar Valley Nature Trail, which follows the Cedar River on an all-surfaced trail. Wapsi-Great Western Line: Though it’s just 14 miles, the Wapsi-Great Western Line trail follows the old railroad grade of the same name and travels past a wide variety of countryside, including near a large wind farm. The trail also follows the Wapsipinicon River through Howard and Mitchell counties, with some sections following county roads.

stretch of road shoulder (yipes), the 60-mile Great River Trail cuts the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in both an urban and wilderness setting. It starts in Savanna, Ill., and travels south down the Mississippi, where you can witness the boats, barges and beauty of the river between our states. Illinois Prairie Path: One of the first trails converted from a former rail line in the country, the Illinois Prairie Path is a jaunt to get to — five branches of the trail converge on Wheaton, Ill., close to Chicago — but the 61 miles of trail are reportedly worth the drive. There’s subur-

ban Chicago running parallel to Root River State Trail: Paved existing rail lines as well as open in 1999, the Root River State countryside with ample quiet Trail is great for cyclists, joggers, time away from traffic. cross-country skiers and even — in one section — snowmobilMinnesota ers. From Fountain to Houston, Paul Bunyan Trail: One Minn., travel through winding hundred and ten miles of most- hills as well as steep, challenging ly paved rail-trail runs north hikes. But do it on a weekday; to south in northern Minne- this popular trail gets crowded sota. From Brainerd to Pine during weekends in the fall. River, Minn., in Lake Bemidji State Park, pedal or rollerblade Wisconsin through the Paul Bunyan Trail Military Ridge State Park in the fall to observe a beauti- Trail: You’ll start at a highway ful upper Midwest autumn, and intersection in Fitchburg, Wis., pass by no fewer than 21 lakes but within a few miles you’ll while you take it all in. (www. leave traffic behind and bike past small Norwegian towns, dairy

Hardin County fall 2009

farms, marshes teeming with wildlife and two state parks. The 40-mile trail is reportedly far less crowded than neighboring trails, providing the ideal experience for those looking to escape it all — though you will have to pay a fee to travel on it. Cheese Country Recreation Trail: If your idea of a trail ride is on something motorized, try out the 47 miles of the Cheese Country Recreation Trail, otherwise known as the Tri-County Trail, in Mineral Point, Wis. ATVs and snowmobiles are popular, but mountain bikers and rugged hikers share the space as it winds through southwest Wisconsin.

FUN FALL 2009 EVENTS COMING UP IN HARDIN COUNTY! SEPTEMBER 26 • City-Wide Garage Sale - Ackley OCTOBER • TBA - Haunted Hay Ride at Prairie Bridges Park - Ackley OCTOBER 3 • 10 am-3 pm - Harvest Festival at the Hardin County Farm Museum - Eldora OCTOBER 10 • 7:30-10:30 pm - Family Barn Dance at the Hardin County Museum - Eldora OCTOBER 17 • 6-8 pm - Join friends of Calkin’s Nature Area, Iowa Falls in celebrating Halloween with a family-friendly night-time hike. You must PRE-REGISTER for this event. Call 641/648.9878 for more information STARTING NOVEMBER 7 • 10 am-2 pm - Indoor Farmers Market in Mini Mall - Eldora For more information about Eldora Events, call 641/939-3241



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• STORE HOURS • Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 5:30pm • Saturday: 8:30am - 12:30pm • Free Delivery • Drive-Thru Window • Immunizations

1602 Edgington Ave. Eldora, IA 50627 Phone 641.858.3567 Fax 641.858.3189


FESTIVALS From page 6 Riverfest, Washington Park, Dubuque, Oct. 11-13. Westdale Mall Fall 2009 Antiques and Collectibles Show, Cedar Rapids, Oct. 23-25. World Food Festival, Des Moines’ East Village, (515) 2864950,, Oct. 8-11. Oktoberfest at Eagles Landing Winery, McGregor/Marquette,, Oct. 17-18. 60th Anniversary Celebration at Effigy Mounds National Monument, Harpers Ferry, Oct. 25. Family Halloween at Living History Farms, Urbandale, (515) 278-5286,, Oct. 22-31. Iowa Wine Trail Holiday Wine and Food Weekend, www., Nov. 7-8. Fall Fibre and Clay Show, Amana Arts Guild Center, High Amana, www.amanaartsguild. com, Nov. 7-8. Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale, Waterloo Center for the Arts, Nov. 8. Traer Quilt Show, Traer Memorial Building, Nov. 13-14. Pella Historical Christmas Walk,, Nov. 14- Dec. 31. Flea Market at North Iowa Fairgrounds, Mason City,, Nov. 1416, Dec. 4-6. Iowa’sPremierWineandFood Expo, Des Moines, (515) 55648000, www.iowaeventscenter. com, Nov. 1 3-14. Quad City Arts Festival of Trees, Davenport, (309) 7931213,,Nov. 20-29. Christmas in Kalona, Nov. 28. Prelude to Christmas, Amana, www.festivalsinamana. com, Dec. 4-6. Christmas on Main, Dysart, Dec. 5. Downtown Lights the Night, downtown Waterloo, Dec. 5. Christmas on the Frontier, Mathias Ham House, Dubuque, www.rivermuseum. com/hamhouse, Dec. 6.




Elkader 102 N. Main, Elkader, IA

(563) 245-2110 “Join Us In Beautiful Elkader”

"'6-- 4&37*$& #"/,

Elkader • Marquette • McGregor • Volga

Welcome tourists to scenic Elkader and Beautiful Northeast Iowa!


Located along the Hwy. 13 Bypass on the S.E. side of Elkader r4IPXFS'BDJMJUJFT r'SFF'JSFXPPE (563) 245-2098 r&MFDUSJDBM)PPLVQT


Fall Events Listing 2009 OCTOBER 1 and 4 - 2 pm OCTOBER 2 and 3 - 7 pm OCTOBER 9 and 10 - 7:30 pm The Music Man Opera House Players Community Theatre presentation of the much loved musical. Info and tickets: tickets, 563/873-2378 or Moser Pharmacy OCTOBER 11 Whistlin’ Bit Saddle Club 61st Annual Trail Ride Location TBA Mat Mueller 563-245-2334 OCTOBER 22-24 Christmas Open House at The Backstitch in downtown Elkader

Turkey River Mall

OCTOBER 24 - 8 pm Mike McAbee Trucker, Musician, Sensitive Guy General Admission Tickets NOVEMBER 12-3 AND 7 pm The Smothers Brothers Sponsored by FreedomBank Tickets available at 563-873-2378 and Moser Pharmacy NOVEMBER 27-28 - 7:30 pm AND NOVEMBER 29 - 2 pm Plaid Tidings Opera House Players present a special Holiday edition of Forever Plaid 563-873-2378 and Moser Pharmacy NOVEMBER 29 Elkader Retail Christmas Open House Downtown Elkader 1-4 pm

J0IN US! Moser Family Pharmacy 

Explore four levels of antiques, crafts, gifts & more in this historic hotel built in 1897. There's something for everyone! Monday thru Sat. 9am-5pm Sunday Noon-5pm 102 S. Main, Elkader, IA

(563) 245-1213

FEATURING • Kodak Picture Kiosk • Harley-Davidson Gifts • Western Home Decor • Willow Tree Angels • Iowa, Iowa State and UNI Merchandise • Woodwick Candles and Diffusers • Jewelry • Elkader and Iowa Apparel • Totes and Flat Wallets • Baby Gifts, Taggies and Books

Many More Gift Items And Collectibles!

135 N. Main • Elkader 563-245-2530



Take trip to wine country Nashua / Plainfield without leaving Midwest come for some By MELODY PARKER

Napa and Sonoma may be synonymous with wine, but Iowans don’t have to travel that far to enjoy a crisp, autumn afternoon in wine country. The Midwest has its share of wine trails where visitors can stop at wineries and tasting rooms to sample award-winning vintages and sparkling ciders. Iowa has five well-established wine trails traversing the state and offering self-guided and directed tours: Amana Colonies Wine Trail, Heart of Iowa Wine Trail, the Iowa Wine Trail, Scenic Rivers Wine Trail and the Western Iowa Wine Trail. The Loess Hills region in Iowa offers views of catstep hills, fragile ecoscape, prairie and big skies. It’s also home to seven wineries: Breezy Hills, Minden; Danish Countryside, Exira (near Elk Horn); King’s Crossing, Glenwood; Loess Hills, Crescent; Prairie Crossing, Treynor; Sugar Clay, Thurman; and Whispering Hills, Carson. Rich history is as flavorful as the wines along the Amana Colonies Wine Trail, which includes Iowa’s oldest winery, Ackerman Winery/Erhle Brothers Winery. Here, wines are bottled by hand in the family tradition. The Amana Colonies has other historic wineries, including Sandstone Winery, Village Winery, Grapevine Winery and Little Amana Winery. Iowa’s largest winery, Summerset Winery in Indianola, is known for growing French hybrids and American varietals for their winemaking. Their wine list includes gold medal winners such as Marechal Foch, a dry red, and Frontenac, described as a spicy red fermented on aged oak. The winery is the cornerstone of the Heart of Iowa Trail, which winds

its way through the state’s midsection. Other wineries on the trail are Snus Hill Winery in Madrid, part of a century farm, La Vida Loca in Indianola, offering unique flavors and cooking wines; Eagle City Winery in Iowa Falls; John Ernst Vineyard and Winery in Tama; Dale Valley Vineyard in Stuart; Grape Escape in Pleasantville; Jasper Winery in Des Moines; Penoach Winery in Adel; Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards in Ames; Rosey Acres Winery in Runnells; Tassell Ridge Winery in Leighton; Two Saints Winery in St. Charles; Southern Hills Winery in Osceola; and White Oak Vineyards in Cambridge. Most familiar to eastern Iowans is the Iowa Wine Trail, nestled in the scenic upper Mississippi Valley. This wine region includes Park Hills Winery in Bankston, home to award-winning wines and a chateau/tasting room straight out of the Tuscan Hills; Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery at Baldwin, where premimum table wines have won plenty of gold medals; Wallace Winery in West Branch, with a post-and-beam tasting room; Wide River Winery near Clinton, which offers wines from primarily Midwestern grapes, including organically grown grapes; and Engelbrecht Family Winery in Fredericksburg, makers of red, white and blush wines, and home to a bed-and-breakfast inn and an antique and wine shop. Other stops on the trail are Sutliff Cider Co. in Lisbon; Winneshiek Wildberry Winery in Decorah, an Amish-built winery located on a historc family farm; Daly Creek Winery and Bistro in Anamosa, which features a 20foot handmade Iowa red cedar bar; Eagles Landing Winery and Vineyard in Marquette, offering Marquette Maid Wines. All of these wine trails offer a

variety of tourist destinations and leaf-peeping routes for a complete fall adventure. The Scenic Rivers Wine Trail connects wineries in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. For a complete listing, visit www. Minnesota’s Three Rivers Wine Trail is the state’s first official trail, featuring six wineries in the St. Croix, Mississippi River and Cannon River valleys. They are WineHaven Winery and Vineyard, Chisago City; Northern Vineyards Winery, Stillwater; Saint Croix Vineyards and Winery, Stillwater; Alexis Bailly Vineyard, Hastings; Falconer Vineyards, Red Wing; and Cannon River Winery, Cannon Falls. A Cheese and Chocolate Weekend is planned Nov. 21 and 22 at wineries on the trail. Wine flows through trails in Illinois, which features five trails: Northern Illinois Wine Trail, Mississippi River Valley Wine Trail, Heartland Wine Trail, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and Illinois Wine Country. For details, visit Wisconsin isn’t just about beer — it has its own awardwinning wineries. Check out the list or order a guide at www., the Wisconsin Winery Association. Fruit wines are house specialities, but you’ll find grape-based wines, too. Simon Creek Vineyard and Winery in Sturgeon Bay is the largest vineyard and most modern winery in the state. Tours include a review of the entire winemaking process from harvest through bottling and casing, along with a tasting of vinifera and hybrid wines, including American Cabernet Sauvignon, American Gewurztraminer and American merlot. For details, visit or call (920) 746-9307.



great fall fun!

October 9 and 10

Nashua and Plainfield Festival Days


TBA • Pioneer Village’s “Spooky Village Tour” 641/435-2567 for information December 12 Nashua Christmas Go to for more information

PLAINFIELD EVENTS November 5, 6 7 OPEN HOUSES for more information

l a t & Son The Oak Tree, Inc. w a n aH Lumber Company

708 Main St. Plainfield, IA 50666 (319) 276-4740


Monday-Friday 9 AM- 5 PM Saturday 9 AM-3 PM Custom Cabinetry Furniture • Gifts • Bulk Foods

1929-270th St. Ionia, IA 50645


715 Main St. • Plainfield, IA 50666 Phone: 319-276-4458

714 Main Street, Plainfield, IA 50666 Phone: 319-276-4455 Fax: 319-276-3445

• Appraisals • Real Estate • Real Estate Auctions

• Farm Management • Insurance





Follow the twists and turns of Snake Alley in Burlington.

ESCAPE From page 5


■ If you don’t mind driving and want to see record-setting oddities, wander out to Strawberry Point to see the world’s largest strawberry or down to Brandon for the world’s largest frying pan. Albert the Bull is pretty large in Audobon, the world’s largest shaft of wheat is in Shelby, the world’s largest popcorn ball is in Sac City, and the world’s crookedest street is officially Snake Alley in Burlington. Nestled between Washington and Columbia streets, Snake Alley has been hailed by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for its cockeyed crookedness. With five curves, two quartercurves and a drop of 275 feet from top to bottom, walking is tricky enough. Those who dare to drive it must do so before the snow Located at 1086 222nd Drive, flies. It’s wisely closed during the hook-up to a handle tow that will transport you and your tube to the Boone. On the Web at www.sevwinter. ■ Come strike your own Ameri- top of the hill. can Gothic pose in front of the house made famous by Iowa artist Grant Wood. Enjoy the collection of American Gothic parodies, educational exhibit and videos on Grant Wood’s life, put together magnet puzzles and check out the selection of prints, postcards, stationery, books, totes, T-shirts and other memorabilia in the gift shop. Visitors say costumes and pitch Escape to an Old World weekend at forks are available for posing, and the Ox Yoke Inn and the Guest House Motel free-will donations to the house Package A are accepted. $ 108.95/Couple • Friday-Saturday Located at 300 American Gothic (Dinner, Lunch & Lodging) St., Eldon. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 Package B to 4 p.m. Saturday through Mon$ 124.95/Couple • Saturday-Sunday day. Call (641) 652-3352. (Dinner, Sunday Brunch & Lodging) ■ Seven Oaks Recreation is on 150 acres in the scenic Des Moines JANUARY & FEBRUARY River Valley. Whether you are SPECIAL looking for an exciting day on the Package B Package A $ $ DISCOUNT river or an action-packed after114.95 98.00 Must be used during January & February only. noon playing paintball, Seven Oaks is your destination for OutGREAT GIFT IDEA! door Recreation. Gift certificates available. Major credit cards accepted. Seven Oaks offers activities year RESERVE ONLINE round, including hiking, mounOr Call Today for a Brochure & Reservations tain biking and skiing. In snowy 1-800-233-3441 weather, visitors can try the snow tube slide that’s more than 1,000 GUEST HOUSE MOTEL feet long. Don’t worry about the 4712 220th Trail, Amana 4420 220th Trail, Amana haul, though. There’s an easy Amana Colonies


in the


La Porte City


4th Annual Fall Festival On Main Street


2nd Annual Chocolate Walk • 5:30-8:30 pm

DECEMBER 4 and 5

Christmas on Main • Festival of Trees La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum 9 am-1 pm • Craft show 9 am-2 pm • Cookie Walk Watch for Christmas Specials in all area businesses!

DECEMBER 6 • 4-7 pm

La Porte City Women’s Club Annual Tour of Homes

"Iowa's Biggest and Best Tenderloins" Dine In • Carry Out DAILY SPECIALS SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM AVAILABLE NOW 613 Highway 218N La Porte City, IA 50651


Now Available Year Round!

707 Hwy 218 North - La Porte City, IA 50651 Phone 319-342-2440 - Toll Free 800-727-7908 Fax 319-342-3648 E-Mail:

411 Main Street, La Porte City




Iowa a hot spot for fall color DES MOINES — (AP) Whether you’re on a river, in the woods or driving by the famed bridges of Madison County, autumn colors are easy to find in Iowa. The foliage is pretty anywhere along the Mississippi River but particularly in Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, on the state’s eastern border. (And yes, it is named for Zebulon Pike, who explored the area in the early 1800s and for whom Pikes Peak is named in Colorado.) Go canoeing on the Des Moines or Raccoon rivers, and try the spectacular route on the Raccoon from Booneville into Des Moines. Or take a fall foliage cruise along the Mississippi: The first half of October is a nice time simply to stroll the streets of greater Des Moines — particularly Waterbury and South of Grand neighborhoods, where you’ll find old oak trees, burning bush shrubs and redbud trees in every shade of orange and red. About an hour southwest of Des Moines is Winterset, home to “The Bridges of Madison County” made famous in the book and movie, and a lovely place to view fall foliage. Roseman is the bridge Robert Kincaid seeks when he stops at Francesca Johnson’s for directions in the story; it is also where Francesca leaves her note inviting him to dinner. Five more scenic covered bridges await the traveler. The Ledges State Park, about an hour north of Des Moines in the town of Madrid, has miles of railroad trails leading up to beautiful vistas overlooking the Des Moines River Valley and the canyon. You’ll find numerous tribal burial mounds in the area, along with white-tailed deer, raccoon, beaver, woodchuck and many types of birds.





2000 Swan Lake Blvd. Independence. . . . . . . . . 319.334.9055 . . . . . . . . .

......... Family dining in old farmhouse . . . . . . . . . setting overlooking Swan Lake . . . . . . . . . Lunch and Dinner Everyday ......... Sunday Family-Style Meals Served .........

Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse BILL VERSLUIS, Owner

201 1st Street West Independence IA 50644 Phone (319) 334-2455 Fax: (319) 334-4934 Email:

2100 Swan Lake Blvd. Independence IA 50644

319-334-6400 319-334-2733 (FAX) Be Our Guest

• Complimentary light and healthy breakfast • Wireless internet access • Indoor Pool • Whirlpool • Business Center • Fitness Center • Within walking distance of Heartland Acres and Starlight Cinema

TOURS ) 2 009-2010 September 25-28 - Wolf Center in Ely, MN .........................................$435 dbl. Sponsored by Buchanan & Linn County Conservation

October 16-17 - Women of Faith .......................................................... $241 dbl. Includes transporation, motel and tickets.

Dec. 8-12- 4 Nights In Branson ............................................................. $590 dbl. Shows to see are Jim Owens, Brand Jubilee, Twelve Irish Tenors, Rickey Boen and Texas Swing Band, Comedian Joey Riley, The Osmonds, Iowa’s Own Doug Gabriel, and Broadway Show “Peter Pan” starring Cathy Rigby. Includes transportation, 4 nights in motel, 6 meals and 9 shows.

Dec. 20 - Follidays Hooray for Holidays First Ever Holiday Spectacular.....$60 Includes transportation, ticket and dinner

Jan. 9, 2009 - Rock Island - One-Day Bus Tour Experience Bald Eagle Days on the Mississippi River ..........Cost Pending


Sponsored by Buchanan & Linn County Conservation


Butler’s Travel Service

An agent for Northland Travel Motor Coach Tours. Call for brochure and let us help you set up a vacation!

CRUISES•AMTRAK•AIR FLIGHTS•CHARTERS•TOURS•HOTEL Owners: Bette and Don Butler • 615 4th St. SE, Independence, IA 50644 Phone: (319) 334-2416 • Fax: (319) 334-9260 • E-mail BButler @indytelcom


Come hang out with us this fall! October 3-9am-7 pm October 4-9am-3pm Calico Stars Quilt Show Falcon Civic Center Presented by Calico Cut-Ups and Buchanan County Historical Society October 3 City-Wide Garage Sales October 18 and 25 Annual Halloween Fun Noon-4 pm Hayrides, Games, and More at Heartland Acres

Cable TV 3-Bedroom Cabin Free Wireless Internet

For reservations, Call: 800-429-2577

(319) 334-2577 JERRY & JUDY LAUER

1810 First Street West Independence, IA 50644

October 24 Buchanan County Health Trust Dinner and Auction at Heartland Acres For Information: 319/332-0905 October 30 Downtown Trick-Or-Treat Main Street - 4-5:30 pm October 31 Community-wide Trick-Or-Treat 5:30-7:30 pm Holiday Open Houses November 6-8 Come join the fun as we kick-off the holiday shopping season. Nov. 7-Dec. 6 Sat. and Sun Only Noon- 8 pm Christmas at THE DEPOT Small table-top trees, wreaths and specialty items, sold at silent auction on Dec. 6. All towns in Buchanan County donate Christmas items. December 5 and 6 Let the Magic begin ... Jingle on Main Come see Santa from 1-3 pm December 12- 13 Noon-2 pm • 3rd Annual Cookie Walk at Heartland Acres December 25 Community Christmas Dinner 11 am-2 pm Turkey and Ham Dinner sponsored by Buchanan County Senior Center 319/361-3126 Free dinner donations accepted.

Iowa’s Largest Fenton Art Glass Dealer

Heritage Lace Alexa’s Angels Danielson Designs Gifts, Home Decor, and More

221 1st St. E, Independence, Iowa 319-334-9355

•Prairie du Chien, McGregor, Marquette• BED & BREAKFAST • 126 Main Street, McGregor, IA

The building housing Little Switzerland Inn was constructed in 1862 as the home for Iowa’s oldest weekly newspaper, The North Iowa Times. Sadie’s Log Cabin was built at Wexford, Iowa in 1848 and moved into the yard next to the Inn in 1987. With a mixture of primitive and new, the authentic log cabin also features a jacuzzi and beautiful stone fireplace.

Traditional Bed & Breakfast Rooms & Private Suites (563) 873-2057 or (608) 874-4559 or (608) 412-0400 website: OPEN YEAR ROUND

Holiday Shores Motel - McGregor, Iowa On the main channel of the Mississippi River

Come enjoy our view!

563-873-3449 • for information.

Shihata’s Orchard, LLC

SEPTEMBER 25 • NOVEMBER 20 Moonlight Madness Downtown Prairie du Chien, 5-8 pm, retail savings, food, music and more, sponsored by PDRI. 609/326-7374 SEPTEMBER 26-27 • OCTOBER 17-18 Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen At the Villa Louis Historic Site, St. Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien. Hands-on program for adults. Reservations required. 608/326-2721 SEPTEMBER 26-27 Gays Mills Apple Festival Tourists 608/735-4810 Arts/Crafts 608/735-4643 Flea Market 608/735-4521 Gays Mills, WI OCTOBER 1-31 Iowa Archaeology Month Special programs are scheduled during the annual recognition of Iowa’s archaelogical past. Effigy Mounds National Monument 3 miles N of Marquette, IA 563/873-3491 OCTOBER 3 “Visiting Our Ancestors” Tour Praire du Chien’s historic cemeteries. Guided tour begins at 1 pm and will be completed at 4 pm. Contact: Fort Crawford Museum

OCTOBER 3-4 Shihata Orchard Fest • Visit the Apple House with 19 varieties of

apples, jams and jellies, award winning cider, pumpkins, Wisconsin wine, cheese and sausage. Weekend outing of family fun with wagon rides in the orchard, U-pick apples, and the Pumpkin Patch. 6 Miles north of Prairie du Chien Hwy. 27, left on Limery Rd. 608/326-2785 OCTOBER 10 Spirits of St. Feriole: A Lamplight Tour Villa Louis Historic Site, St. Feriole Island. Historic guides lead visitors through Villa Louis buildings and grounds to encounters with a series of spirits in dramatic skits that tell stories of 18th century life in Prairie du chien. Tours begin at dusk (flashlight recommended). 608/326-2721 OCTOBER 23-24 • OCTOBER 30-31 Hoffman Haunted Hall 1600 S Wacouta Ave. Prairie du Chien7-10 pm Sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Dept. 608/326-2707 NOVEMBER 20-22 McGregor Gun Show Friday 5-9 pm Saturday 9 am-5 pm Sunday 9 am-3 pm. Admission charged • Lunch available McGregor’s Landing Event Center 111 First St., McGregor, IA 563/873-2387

The Scenic Orchard

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

Come for Fall Fun!!!

Open Daily 9 am-5 pm

Select from the wide variety of apples in the Apple House. We offer 19 varieties including the famous Honeycrisp Apple. Come and create a family fun tradition of picking your own apples or pumpkins. Wines • Honey • Jellies and Syrups • Baked Apple Goodies • Gift Items • Wisconsin Cheese & Sausage • Fresh Pressed Cider • Fall and Christmas Decorations

NOVEMBER 26 Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 3 Mile Run/Walk Hoffman Hall 1600 S Wacouta Prairie du Chien 608/326-7207 DECEMBER 5 A Holiday Open House In Iowa’s First National Park Unit Effigy Mounds National Monument 3 miles N of Marquette, IA 9 am-4 pm 563/873-3491 DECEMBER 5-6 Holiday Season Begins In Marquette and McGregor Grand light displays, tour of homes, bake and craft sales, caroling, carriage rides and more. 800/896-0910 DECEMBER 5-6 and DECEMBER 12-13 1890s Christmas Holiday on a Victorian Country Estate Villa Louis Historic Site St. Feriole Island 521 N. Villa Louis Rd. Prairie du Chien Visit the Dousman family as they prepare for the holidays in the 1890’s. DECEMBER 31 “Droppin’ of the Carp” Entrance of St. Feriole Island Blackhawk Ave. Prairie du Chien 9 pm bonfire and entertainment, countdown at 11:40 pm and ends with fireworks. 608/326-8602

Enter the World of Victorian America


Visit the authentically restored Villa Louis mansion complex, fur trade museum and lush gardens on the banks of the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien.

102 Business Highway 18 McGregor

Orchard Fest – October 3rd and 4th

Restaurant & Bar 563-873-9667

Open 7 Days a Week

Fun For The Whole Family!

FREE Wagon Rides through our scenic orchard. Petting Zoo with Horses, Donkeys, Rabbits, even a Llama • Food Stand • Product Samples • Large Pumpkin Patch • Kid's Games


1 mile past Cabela’s on Hwy. 35 then right on Limery Rd. or 5 miles north of Prairie du Chien, WI on Hwy. 27, then left on Limery Road.



Open Daily through October 31 • 10 am- 5 pm


.JTTJTTJQQJJO.D(SFHPS Dining as you watch the great river flow by . . .

Travel Guide 2009  

Local Travel Guide