Buffalo County is blessed with an abundance of activities for those interested in wineries, hiking & biking, canoeing & boating, nature, birds & wildlife, back road driving, train & river activity, museums, history and so much more.
- Mississippi River and Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge are an obvious visitor choice.
- Buffalo River, Chippewa River, Trempealeau River and Waumandee Creek are beautiful county waterways.
- Backroads of Buffalo County are paved two-lane roads with little to no traffic. They're favorites for driving throughout the year.
- Being part of the Driftless Area, Buffalo County offers a topography that can only be found in this part of the United States.
There are quaint lodging options and restaurants with local fare in each river town. Local shopping provides an opportunity to find that unique item that will provide a memory of your travels. It's impossible to separate the attractions of Alma, Wisconsin from Buffalo County. When you come to visit you'll experience all of the beauty and natural resources of both.
Buffalo County is surrounded by water with the Mississippi River to the west and the surrounding boundaries mostly based on rivers (Chippewa, Trempealeau & Buffalo). As part of the Driftless Area, you'll enjoy paddling these waterways and exploring the many Wisconsin State Natural Areas.
Experience the Upper Mississippi National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, Merrick State Park on the Mississippi River and two national water trails.
Natural Areas & Trails
Alma offers many surprises throughout the year. Wildflowers, morning valley fog, spring & fall bird migrations, autumn color and the frozen river keep our city vibrant all year long. The view from Buena Vista Park and the hikes along Mossy Hollow Trail and Buena Vista Trail are fabulous!
(Alma WI, 13 sets of stairs connect 1st and 2nd Street)
Buena Vista Trail
(Alma WI, from the city to top of the bluff)
Mossy Hollow Trails
(Alma WI, from cemetery to top of the bluff)
(Nelson WI; 25 acres of bluff side & bluff top)
Twin Bluffs Trail
(Nelson WI, Mississippi Valley Conservancy project)
Whitman Dam Dike Trail
(Buffalo City WI, DNR project)
Eagle Valley Trails (Campground, Fountain City)
Eagle Valley Trails (Campground, Fountain City)
State Trails (Rails to Trails Projects)
Great River State Trail (Marshland to Onalaska)
Buffalo River State Trail (Mondovi to Osseo)
Chippewa River State Trail (Durand to Eau Claire)
Wisconsin State Trail Pass
Trail users must purchase their state trail pass before using the trail. Self-registration stations are available for payment of fees.
State Natural Areas & Parks
Merrick State Park
(Fountain City, WI)
Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area
Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area
Tiffany State Natural Area
Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area
Trempealeau River Meadow State Natural Area
Whitman Bottoms Forest State Natural Area
(Buffalo City, WI)
Wisconsin State Park Permit
Park users must purchase a vehicle admission sticker before entering the park. A self-registration station is available for payment of fees.
Mississippi River Trail (Biking Trail)
Wisconsin Great River Road National Scenic Byway
Upper Mississippi National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge
211 Grove Drive,
An 18-hole public golf course nestled in the Mississippi River bluffs near Cochrane, WI just a short 10 minute drive south of Alma, WI and directly on the Wisconsin Great River Road. Over 6,080 yards, par 70. This varied course offers challenges to beginners and advanced players alike. Tee times are a breeze | Green fees are very affordable | Views are incredible.
S80 Golf Road,
Nestled in the rolling hills of Buffalo County on the northern edge of Mondovi, the Valley Golf Course is a rising star in the golfing universe of Northern Wisconsin. Just 30 minutes from from Alma WI along WI State Highway 37 or from Interstate 94 & Eau Claire WI. 18 Hole Course | Par 70 | 6569 Yards
Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden
52727 Prairie Moon Road
(Off WI State Hwy 35)
Cochrane WI 54629
In 1952 retired farmer, fiddler, and folk artist Herman Rusch (1885-1985) began transforming the former Prairie Moon dance pavilion into a museum of antiques and natural curiosities. He created nearly forty sculptures and flower planters of locally quarried stone and concrete, embellishing them with glass, shells, and other found items. His sculptures include a graceful 267-foot arched fence, dinosaurs, temple, tiered fountain, watchtower, spires, and self-portrait bust.
In 1992 the Kohler Foundation purchased and began restoration of the Prairie Moon Museum and Sculpture Garden as part of its ongoing commitment to the preservation of significant art environments by self-taught artists. The Kohler Foundation has donated the site to the local community to be maintained as a public art site.
The museum building includes an interpretive exhibit and displays of various artifacts. A collection of miniature stone and concrete buildings modeled after the nearby village of Cochrane is also found inside the building. The miniature village was created by Depression Era artist Fred Schlosstein. Twenty-five additional sculptures by Schlosstein, including a boy fishing in a pond, animals, planters, and an archway, were preserved and installed in a circular area near the parking lot in 2008.
Another recent addition to the site is the Fountain City Rock Garden, created by John and Bertha Mehringer of nearby Fountain City during the 1930's. These stone sculptures, representing a wishing well, windmills, columns, and a bird house, are located adjacent to a one-acre planting of prairie flowers and grasses.
Picnic tables offer views of the sculptural display, colorful flower beds, and nearby forested bluffs. Waumandee Creek, a quiet tributary of the Mississippi, borders the property and is home to abundant wildlife.
Nelson Cheese Factory
S237 State Hwy 35
Ice cream cones are a favorite with all visitors at the Nelson Cheese Factory. The founders of the Nelson Cheese Factory made cheese for over 100 years. While they no longer make cheese, their offerings have been expanded to include cheese from Wisconsin and around the world as well as fine wines and a gourmet selection of food.
Elmer's Auto & Toy Museum
W903 Elmer's Road Off WI State Hwy 95
Fountain City WI
With hundreds of muscle, antique, and classic cars and trucks as well as pedal cars and thousands of antique toys, tools, and dolls, Elmer's Auto & Toy Museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in the country and a fantastic attraction every family member will enjoy! Family owned and operated since 1994, Elmer's Museum is located on Eagle Bluff, which is the highest point along the Mississippi River. The view of the river valley is one of the best in the area!
Barn Quilt Trail
Located throughout Buffalo County
4H Barn Quilt Map
Buffalo County's Barn Quilt Trail offers more than 20 quilts to view. The barn quilt featured above is located on the Keys Property next to Mirror Lake in Mondovi, Buffalo County, WI. Most barn quilts are sponsored by the local 4H organizations but there are also private barn quilts around Buffalo County.
S3439 Cole Bluff Lane
Fountain City WI 54629
Kinstone is a spectacular megalithic garden and working permaculture site located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in the Driftless Region of Western Wisconsin. This 4th generation family farmland has a stunning array of megalithic features including a large stone circle, labyrinth and standing stones with intentional alignments marking cardinal directions and passing of the seasons.
The thatched, cordwood chapel is a uniquely beautiful place of quiet solitude. Kinstone is loaded with diverse plants and ecosystems with many interactive examples of permaculture techniques and approaches including natural buildings, a pond, acres of oak/hickory woodland, terraces & swales, hundreds of young nut and fruit trees, restored prairie/savanna, food forests, garden beds and more.
Buffalo County Fair
Buffalo County Fair Grounds,
The Buffalo County Agriculture Fair has a long and vibrant history that started in 1872. The original mission was set up by the Buffalo County Agriculture Society and includes "... improvement of agriculture, and the study of the kindred arts and sciences." Today the Fair is run by the Buffalo County Agriculture Fair Association and works collaboratively with UW-Extension in Alma WI. Entertainment has changed over the years, people have come and gone, but the mission and county community commitment remain the same.
The Buffalo County Fairgrounds are located in Mondovi WI and the annual fair takes place the first week of August. Features include a carnival, rides, food & drink stands, displays, judging, contests, music and more.
The Alma Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is located in the Wings Over Alma Building on Main Street. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. We are happy to provide more details. Please email us 24/7 or call us to learn more.
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