Whether you come to experience the natural beauty of the coulee region, the history of the Norwegian heritage preserved in the buildings and artifacts, or to take a class or attend a program, Norskedalen has something unique and very special for all ages. We're sharing 8 fun things to do at this hidden gem all year round...
Spanning over 400 acres, Norskedalen has miles of trails for hiking. One of its most stunning areas is the Helga Gundersen Arboretum. Once an old farm, the space has been transformed into a park-like setting full of wildflowers, meandering streams, bubbling springs, and groves of pines and special plantings. The Gundersen spring is the largest spring in La Crosse County.
Sign your child up for an adventure in the Outdoors With Olivia program and let them explore the natural world at Norskedalen. From checking out invertebrates in the creek to looking for animal tracks on a hike, kids will have a great time learning about the natural inhabitants at Norskedalen.
While there are plenty of family-friendly events to take the kids to at Norskedalen, there are also adult friendly events, as well! History is brought to life as volunteers dress in period costume and regale visitors with tales of life in the 1800s.
Enjoy the serene beauty of Norskedalen as you enjoy an evening of music and food surrounded by nature. Happening every Wednesday evening from mid-July through mid-August, you can take in an evening of great music in the shelter and amphitheater or picnic on the lawn under the stars!
Located about two miles from Coon Valley on Highway 14 is Norskedalen’s other heritage site called Thrunegaarden. During the first weekend in July the site is open to the general public to tour the museum and historic buildings and purchase pieces of art crafted by local artisans. The Art Fair also offers a walking tour that explains the history of the Norwegian and Native American families who lived in the area during the mid-1800’s.
Ghoulees in the Coulees
Make your way through haunted woods as ghosts and goblins spook you on a pumpkin-lit trail. Family night is on the Thursday before Halloween where children are led through the wooded trail and then back to Bekkum farmstead where volunteers hand out treats! Friday night is for the adults, as hidden spooks will try to terrify you on your thrill-filled adventure! After the ghoulish hike, head to Bekkum Farmstead and gather around the storytellers for chilling tales that will give you goosebumps.
An Old Fashioned Christmas
Get in the spirit of the season at Norskedalen! Make Christmas ornaments with the blacksmith, tour Bekkum Homestead in a horse-drawn carriage, purchase some Norwegian baked goods, visit with Santa, and sing Christmas carols with a bell choir in the chapel. Start a new family tradition at Old Fashioned Christmas!
Learn more about Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center on Discover Wisconsin. The episode premieres on Fox Sports Wisconsin March 9th at 10am and is available to stream on Roku, Chromecast, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV. Or watch the episode on DiscoverWisconsin.com.