by Kathy Kuderer, Guest Blogger & Owner of Down a Country Road Amish Gifts and Tours

Down a Country Road Amish Gifts & Tours

Take a day trip to the Cashton area — we promise you won’t be disappointed! The whole area is fun to explore. From its beautiful scenery to its attractions, your day will be filled with treasures for your senses.

The Cashton area, just 40 minutes from La Crosse or 15 minutes south of Interstate 90 at Sparta, is home to the state of Wisconsin’s largest Amish community. Approximately 300 Old Order Amish families make their home in the Cashton settlement. The Amish craftsmen and artisans are known for their quality handcrafted furniture, quilts, rugs, baskets, and many other products, and are sure to have something for everyone.

Our Village shops at Down A Country Road Amish Gifts and Tours have become one of the area’s most popular destinations since opening in 1994. At Down A Country Road you will find six unique gift shops built by the Amish and featuring products made by them and other local artisans. In their picturesque village-like setting, the gift shops are connected by brick pathways amidst gorgeous gardens. You will find The Amish Shop, Emma’s Kitchen, Kinner Korner Children’s Shop, The Little Red Shed, Not So Plain & Simple, and the Country Corner Ice Cream Shop, all located on our farm, just 2 miles east of Cashton. We also provide tours of the Amish community, so if you’re curious about the Amish way of life, make a reservation for a tour.

 

A photo posted by @pasturepride on

You will also want to visit the Old Country Cheese Factory on County Highway D. The business is owned by the Amish, although they do not operate it, as they do not wish to work with the electricity. You will find many varieties of fresh made cheeses, aged cheeses, and of course cheese curds! Visitors can watch through the viewing window as the cheese is made.

Another stop just south of Cashton along Highway 27 is the Pasture Pride Cheese Store. Filled with delightful cheese made from the milk provided by the Amish, as well as giftware, it is a stop you don’t want to miss.

If it’s flowers or produce you’re looking for, the Cashton area is abundant with green houses at the Amish farms, or a visit to the Growers Produce Auction is always a fun event. Held two to three times a week from April through October, the Growers Produce Auction is the place to find fresh produce, bedding plants, hanging baskets or whatever is in season.

All products are usually sold in large quantities, but if you watch for your chance you can get in on the bargains and a chance to buy smaller quantities. Each Memorial Day and Labor Day are the big consignment auctions. Starting at 8:30 a.m. and lasting most of the day, these auctions feature furniture, quilts, rugs, many other crafts, and tons and tons of hanging baskets, bedding plants, trees and shrubs. You have to be on your toes though, because there are often three rings going at once.

A simple drive through the Amish community is always enjoyable. Please be respectful of the Amish who are very private people and do not wish to have their photo taken. This is part of their religious beliefs. In the Book of Exodus it says not to make a graven image, and the Amish literally live by that Biblical verse. Only stop at their farms if they have a sign out selling something that you are seriously interested in purchasing. Otherwise they prefer not to be bothered by curious tourists. They have plenty of work to do, and they themselves prefer not to be the object of tourism.

Just a few miles east of Cashton is the village of Ontario, which boasts a few little gift shops, cafes and of course the beautiful Kickapoo River, which is perfect for a canoeing, kayaking, or tubing. An afternoon paddling the Kickapoo, winding through its twists and turns and high sandstone cliffs, is an unforgettable experience. The river runs through beautiful Wildcat Mountain State Park, which by the way is also a great place to visit.

Put on your hiking shoes and wander through Wildcat Mountain State Park for some lovely scenery and wildlife. The vistas are breathtaking as you overlook the driftless area. The park which, over 3600 mostly-wooded acres, contains 26 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. The park also includes a half-mile of accessible trails for individuals with disabilities.

From what you have just heard, I think it may have to be more than a day trip! Come on back to Cashton as many times as you like. We welcome you to come explore with us!