Travel, Lodging, and Things to Do

People sitting on terrace at table

Conference Venue

Most of the conference will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, located on 68 hillside acres on the northwest side of Baraboo, WI. Visit for more information, or view the location in Google Maps. Evening receptions will be held at the nearby Leopold Center and the Ho-Chunk Gaming Convention Center.

Travel and Directions

The closest airport to Baraboo is the Madison/Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) about 40 miles to the south. Baraboo is also about 100 miles from Milwaukee (MKE) and 180 miles from Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Amtrak serves the neighboring towns of Portage (POG) and Wisconsin Dells (WDL). Greyhound also serves Wisconsin Dells.

A vehicle is recommended for daily transport between your lodging, the conference venue, and nearby evening reception locations. Car rentals are available at the airport in Madison, as well as in Wisconsin Dells (Avis), and Baraboo (Enterprise).

To coordinate carpooling or room sharing with other conference attendees, please post in the discussion section of our 2017 Building a Land Ethic Facebook Event. If you do not use Facebook, please contact Maria Kopecky at gro.d1498447306lopoe1498447306lodla1498447306@aira1498447306m1498447306 or 608-355-0279, ext.38.


We have reserved three group hotel room blocks for conference attendees. When you call to make your reservation, mention you are part of the Aldo Leopold Foundation block.

Best Western Baraboo Inn

  • Rate Tuesday to Friday: $80/night
  • Block rate is not available for Saturday night
  • Distance from UW-Baraboo/Sauk County: 1 mile
  • Phone: 1-608-356-1100
  • Room block release date: May 24, 2017

Ho-Chunk Gaming Hotel & Casino

  • Rate Tuesday to Saturday: $119/night
  • Distance from UW-Baraboo/Sauk County: 4 miles
  • Phone: 1-800-746-2486, ext. 7878
  • Room block release date: June 6, 2017

Motel 6 Lake Delton

  • Rate Tuesday to Thursday: $60/night
  • Rate Friday and Saturday: $80/night
  • Distance from UW-Baraboo/Sauk County: 6 miles
  • Phone: 1-608-355-0700
  • Room block release date: May 20, 2017

Attendees can also plan to camp at nearby Devil’s Lake State Park or Mirror Lake State Park. Those interested in camping should make reservations as soon as possible since the summer months at these popular parks are very busy, and campgrounds fill up quickly. A number of private campgrounds are also located in the region.

Area Attractions

Looking to explore more in the area before or after the conference? Here are some suggestions.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Located in the Madison area, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center provides innovative, hands-on programs for children, families, and educators that “…teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands” in the spirit of Aldo Leopold. Although the Aldo Leopold Nature Center is separate from the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Leopold family (especially Nina Leopold Bradley) was instrumental in founding both organizations. Many public programs are available at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, including the Leopold Family Interpretive Trail, winding through 21 acres of restored, native habitat; the Children’s Shack, a child-scaled replica of the actual Leopold Shack; and the Climate Education Center, designed to teach about climate science, renewable energy, and sustainability through interactive exhibits and a hands-on laboratory named in honor of Nina.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Prairie under dawn sky

A restored prairie at the UW Arboretum. Photo: Bryce Richter

Also in the Madison area is the UW Arboretum. Aldo Leopold was a member of the university’s Arboretum committee and played a formative role in shaping the Arboretum’s restoration efforts and the landscape that exists there today. The UW Arboretum is home to the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, as well as flowering trees, shrubs, and a renowned lilac collection. It serves as a global source of knowledge and model for restoring sustainable relationships between people and the land through integrative, innovative, and collaborative approaches in science, stewardship, education, and public engagement.

International Crane Foundation

Headquartered in Baraboo, WI, the International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the world’s crane species, hike nature trails, and browse nature-themed items from around the world in the gift shop. The International Crane Foundation is open to the public every day between April 15 and October 31 from 9 am to 5 pm. Guided public tours are offered daily at 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Devil’s Lake State Park

Located in Baraboo, WI, and founded in 1911, Devil’s Lake State Park is the third oldest state park in Wisconsin, as well as the largest and the most visited. It offers magnificent views from 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake, along with lakeshore picnic areas, sandy swimming beaches, 29 miles of hiking trails, and intriguing natural history. Open year-round, Devil’s Lake is situated along the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Flyways Waterfowl Museum

Located just outside the north-shore entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park, Flyways Waterfowl Museum is an educational facility established to promote better understanding of North American migratory waterfowl science, environmental history, and waterfowl art. Visitors can view more than 60 North American ducks, geese and swans; hear birds’ unique calls; and learn about migrations, habitat management, and more.

Mirror Lake State Park

Rock formation next to lake

Photo of Mirror Lake by Katie Tegtmeyer.

Located in Lake Delton, WI, Mirror Lake State Park is named for its centerpiece, a lake which is often so calm that not a ripple marks its surface. The lake reflects a wooded shoreline with cliffs up to 50 feet high, a swimming beach, and wetlands that are home to a variety of wildlife. The park’s 2,200 acres include several picnic areas, wooded campsites, summer rentals, and a cabin for people with disabilities.

Wisconsin State Natural Areas

State Natural Areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s natural communities, significant geological formations, and archeological sites. Encompassing over 373,000 acres, the state’s 673 natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, help preserve biological diversity, and provide benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also offer some of the state’s last refuges for rare plants and animals. We are fortunate to have many great SNAs in the Baraboo area.

John Muir Park Segment, Ice Age Trail

Another prominent figure in the history of the environmental movement was John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and often called the father of our national parks. Did you know his boyhood home is located about 30 minutes northeast of the Leopold Shack on County Highway F in Marquette County? In fact, Leopold once wrote a letter to the state suggesting that Muir’s home be protected as a State Natural Area. The John Muir Park Segment of the Ice Age Trail (a national scenic trail) runs through this property and by Muir’s boyhood home. Ennis Lake (known to Muir and his family as Fountain Lake) and the surrounding prairies, meadows, and woodlands of the John Muir Park Segment, helped inspire Muir’s appreciation and respect for nature.

Circus World

Learn about Baraboo’s circus history with a trip to Circus World. A thrill for all ages, Circus World is a family attraction featuring live circus performances, magic shows, movies, and historical exhibits.

Wisconsin Dells

Explore Wisconsin Dells, the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” In addition to its waterparks, many dining options, and live entertainment and attractions, the Wisconsin Dells offers a chance to see “the dells” themselves. One option is the Upper Dells Boat Tour, a Wisconsin River cruise that travels an awesome path cut by ancient glaciers. The tour passes under pine-crowned cliffs, navigates winding river narrows, and offers views of iconic sandstone formations like Chimney Rock, Blackhawk’s Profile and Romance Cliff.