Ready to head out and explore “Wisconsin’s Great Outside”? Adventure, culture, and accessibility are what makes Janesville the perfect destination for families of all shapes and sizes. Whether you visit for more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, or for the art scene, there is fun to be had for all ages! Let’s dive into 6 ways to experience the outdoors in Janesville!
Observe Nature and Wildlife
Photo Credit: Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum by Janesville Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau // @explorejanesville via Instagram
Did you know that the city of Janesville was named a Bird City in 2013? Well, now you do! You can find some of the most extraordinary bird sightings while visiting. One place you can find an abundance of nature and wildlife is at the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum. There are about eight miles of trails that feature beautiful and mature forests, prairies, and marshes; all making the area an excellent place for bird watching.
Explore the Downtown Art Scene
Photo Credit: Dog Bone Mural painted by David Mark Zimmerman // @bigshotrobot via Instagram
Head to downtown Janesville’s 13 historic districts and immerse yourself in the public art scene. The best part? This is something you can enjoy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year! While exploring, you can find coffee shops and places to eat as you stroll through downtown Janesville. With more than 50 displays of public art, you could spend a whole day taking in the beauty painted all around the city.
Known as a community hub in downtown, there’s also the Hedberg Public Library. The library features exhibits that highlight local artists and collectors. The best part? The gallery space changes on a monthly basis!
Looking to head outdoors to the golf… I mean foot golf course? At Black Hawk Golf Course, you can also find a 9-hole FootGolf course next to its traditional counterpart. But what is FootGolf? It is a combination of the sports golf and soccer, but not totally either of the two. During the game, players will use a soccer ball instead of the traditional golf ball and the goal is to kick the ball into the hole. Join in on the fun and experience the excitement of getting outdoors, playing a fun sport, and trying something new!
What happens when you combine ping pong and tennis? You get the great sport of pickleball and at Janesville’s Riverside Park, it’s a big deal! You will find six full courts dedicated to one of the nation’s fastest growing past times. While visiting, you can see players ranging from ages 8 to 90 enjoying this fun, competitive, and exercise-friendly sport. Looking to learn more? The Janesville Pickleball Club is a great place to start. There you can sign up for lessons or play pick up almost every day of the week.
Spend a Day at the Farmers’ Market
Photo Credit: Strawberry picking // @skellysfarm via Instagram
What else screams Wisconsin like an exceptional stroll through a farmers’ market? Skelly’s Farm Market has had roots in Janesville since the 1840s, and today, it’s a beloved family destination. It is located right in the heart of Janesville and has been through it all: dairy, cash crops, sweet corn, and eventually transformed to become a full-time business for all to enjoy!
Bring your family to Skelly’s and jump in on the fun! There’s strawberry picking in the summer, pumpkins and a corn maze in fall, and tons of games and playground equipment for kids! And don’t miss out on their homemade donuts…not only do they have apple cider donuts, but add these flavors to your list: strawberry, pumpkin, blueberry, raspberry, and much more (depending on the season)!
Embark on a Farm Tour
Photo Credit: The Daluge Farm // @willowwalkphoto via Instagram
For an up-close and personal tour of a farm where you get to use all five senses (yes, all five!), head over to the Daluge Farm. The Daluge Farm is a fifth generation Janesville dairy farm that is passionate about sharing their story! On their farm tour you can see cows of all sizes, examine different ingredients in their feed, enjoy some farm fresh air, and indulge in a tasty dairy treat! We can’t forget about what you can hear…the tractors roaring and the cows snoring!
Have you experienced outdoor Janesville yet? Let us know in the comments below what your favorite part was! Then, stream our full episode on Janesville below and make a list of what you need to explore next:
Kortnee Hass: Digital Media Associate for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.