Hixon Forest Park

“If the bluffs are impressive at a distance they must be even more so to those that walk amoung them.” Ken Brown, 1975

Hixon Forest traces its roots to the founding of Grandad Bluff and was donated to the City in 1912 as a park. A cooperative effort has been the resounding theme the past 36 months. The volunteers of ORA  have been working on vision and needs and the City of La Crosse Parks Department has provided the funding to make it happen.

Working jointly great progress has been made such as, the new Vista Trail, signage, parking facility at Upper Hixon (former HPT), new storage container to house the new cross country ski groomer, new trail building equipment, and the new future trail head at Upper Hixon (spring 2015). Steve Carlyon, has done an incredible job of working to improve the resource and has been a great advocate of users; this is deeply appreciated by local users and visitors alike.

Hixon Forest Park is a cherished community asset. Give your Park Director, Mayor, and City Councilmen a shout out and high five for making park improvements a priority!

Ready. Set. Ski!

Prepping for Winter
George Arimond and Fred Skemp, ORA volunteer crew leaders, are getting prepared for the ski season ahead. Join them and other volunteers at the lower Hixon parking lot on Wednesday nights, at 5:00 pm to prep trails, machines, and equipment for another great year of cross country skiing. You’re guaranteed to be among other crazy fools that love winter!

One Last Race
Photo: (left to right) Abby Gowan, Cam Rock
and Avery Luebke, La Crosse HS

The La Crosse area mountain biking team continues to post outstanding results in the inaugural Wisconsin High School Cycling League. While mountain bike racing is new for most all team members they continue to progress in coach Josh Shively’s training program.
With one race remaining, to be held Sunday, October 19th at Cascade Mtn., the team looks to build on their 5th place team standing. The league consists of 17 state wide teams competing for individual and team accolades.High school and middle school-aged mountain bike racers will come to the line for one last race to see who will be the Overall Champion for their category.

Tuesday Trails

Fit. Feel. Fun.

Have you ever purchased a pair of shoes to find out after that first run that they don’t fit correctly? Come experience the shoes before you by.  Grand Bluff Running Company is offering a series of free run/Walk events with opportunities to tryout trial shoes by Saucony, compression calf sleeves and hydration products by Nuun. Tyler Heeinz, founder and owner is serious about wanting to help you get the best fit ever!

Outdoor Recreation Summit
2015 Planning Underway

The third Outdoor Recreation Summit planning is underway. A committee of folks from across the Driftless Region are identifying goals and interviewing speakers for the 2015 Summit.
The fist Summit, Outdoor Recreation Destination, was held Oct. 2012. The 160 attendees created a shared vision and identified ways to collaborate across sectors. Mapping + Connecting: Our assets, Our Communities  and Our region was the second Summit held January, 2013. Over 200 participants identified recreational areas across the region which ORA assembled onto Google Maps. If you have suggestions for the 2015 Summit please contact ORA’s Executive Director here.

Get In On the Action

Wildlife Action Plan 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is currently revising two key conservation plans – the Wildlife Action Plan and Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Management Plan [PDF]. Through completion of an online questionnaire, the public can give the department valuable input regarding Wisconsin’s fish and wildlife resources management.


KVR, Driftless Folks School offer – Kickapoo Valley: 101

“Kickapoo Valley 101: The Land, The River, The People, The Place,” will be offered by the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and Driftless Folk School, Saturday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Whether you have chosen the Kickapoo Valley as your home, or find it an interesting place to visit, it will be gratifying to find within it your center, your sense of this place. Through stories old and new, this class will explore the connections between the land and people that make this a unique place to live.

Turkey Trot to Trails

The UW-L Turkey Trot is trotting its way into its 20th anniversary! Come help us celebrate the race’s 20th year by walking or running on Saturday, November 22nd and support the trails. ORA will receive funding from this race to continue work on protecting, developing and promoting outdoor recreational opportunities. Gather your feathered friends and sign up now! 

ORA Advocate: Stay Connected

Protect. Develop. Promote.
Outdoor Recreation

Stay connected to the outdoor recreational opportunities in the 7 Rivers Region and the Outdoor Recreation Alliance. Subscribe if this was not sent to your email.

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Watch our four-minute video showcasing the
unique features of the 7 Rivers Region.