By Melanie Radzicki Mcmanus
Perched in Wisconsin’s hilly Driftless Area, Mineral Point offers outdoors enthusiasts numerous recreational options. Hikers can explore the paths at Merry Christmas Mine Hill. Part of the Pendarvis State Historic Site, the trails showcase remnants of the town’s mining past, while passing through a 43-acre restored prairie. Additional miles of trail await at nearby Blackhawk Lake Recreation Area, Yellowstone Lake, Governor Dodge State Park and Tower Hill State Park, all of which lie within a half-hour of town. Cyclists can peddle along the scenic Cheese Country Trail, a 47-mile multi-use path connecting Mineral Point and Monroe. The 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail is also nearby, and the rural roads offer great cycling, too. If fishing is your passion, nearby Ludden Lake is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass and panfish, while trout can be found in the Mineral Point branch of the Pecatonica River.
Duffers should check out Dodge Point Country Club, where 18 holes await, or head to Spring Green’s House on the Rock Resort, which boasts 27 holes. Its 18-hole Springs Course was designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., while the nine-hole North Nine was designed by Roger Packard and two-time U.S. Open champ Andy North.
Fun in Mineral Point isn’t just about the outdoors. Stroll through the quaint downtown and check out its mix of shops, such as Sullivan’s, a vintage spot where 60-plus vendors sell a mix of clothing, décor, wine and spirits. At The Mineral Point Gallery, you’ll find art created by people of diverse backgrounds. Or indulge in a massage at The Haven on High, which also offers couples’ massage. Wind down with a quality cup of joe, or perhaps some wine or craft beer. Café 43 serves all three from its location in the former Old Royal Inn, an iconic local building. Commerce Street Brewery has both house and guest beers on tap, plus serves dishes like Korean beef tacos. It’s always wine o’clock at American Wine Project, a hybrid-producing winery where tastings are available. When it’s time to crash, stay in one of the city’s numerous lodgings, which include cabins, inns and boutique hotels.
Enjoy a little competition? Then sign up for one of Mineral Point’s athletic events. Every July 4th, the city hosts the Gettin’ The Lead Out Historic Run, which consists of 2- and 5-mile races through town. The Dairyland Dare, coming Aug. 5, 2023, offers cyclists four epic challenges: biking 50K, 100K, 150K or 200K through the notoriously hilly region — and finishing before the sun goes down.
Plan your visit at mineralpoint.com.