Donors through July 25th receive a pass to live virtual discussion with Robin Wall Kimmerer.
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Tours

Embark on a journey through the heart of conservation history. We have tours to suit every visitor, offering a deeper look into Aldo Leopold's legacy as you walk the very land that inspired his pioneering ethos. Discover the rewards of sustainable land management and the beauty of a thriving ecosystem restored through dedicated stewardship.

Two women reviewing a map on a sign

Self-Guided Tours

Self-guided visitors explore the exterior of the Shack and surrounding land guided by a booklet that includes a trail map, points of interest, historic photos of the land, and background information on Aldo Leopold’s legacy. The trail loop is approximately one mile in length. A side trail leads to the Wisconsin River through a beautiful floodplain forest, where bald eagles, cranes, and other wildlife are frequently spotted. Visitors should also feel free to explore our newly renovated exhibits and trails.

Self-guided tours of the Leopold Shack are available anytime during our visiting hours. Please check in at the Leopold Center to buy tickets, and to receive your tour booklet.

Cost: $10 per person (kids 10 and under free)

Open Shack Fridays

We've added a new way to connect with the Shack! Enjoy the self-guided tour experience with a twist. One of our incredible future leader fellows or guides will have the Shack open and ready for you to explore from 1:00-4:00 every Friday, May through October. Get to know the Leopold Shack and surrounding landscapes through our guide’s unique perspectives. Visitors will use our updated self-guided tour booklet to meander amongst the historic landscape with the added bonus of an inside look at the Leopold Shack and Farm.

Please check in at the Leopold Center to buy tickets, and to receive your tour booklet.

Cost: $10 per person (kids 10 and under free)

A fellow presenting outside of the Leopold Shack
People viewing cranes through a window using binoculars

Crane Viewing Tours

The Aldo Leopold Shack & Farm has become the region’s premier vantage point to experience the spectacular sights and sounds of the annual crane migration. Crane viewing programs are offered seasonally each year, from November to early December. Classic, Premium, and Exclusive Tours, as well as Photography and Group Blind Rentals, are available for purchase now.

Guided Tours

Hear the stories about the pioneering restoration work initiated by Leopold and his family, experience the inside of the Shack, and stroll through restored prairie and woods along the Wisconsin River. Public tours are offered on Saturdays at 10:00, May through October. Public tours last approximately two hours and are led by knowledgeable guides. We ask that the purchase of public tour tickets be restricted to groups of 10 or less. We appreciate advanced registration.

Cost: $15 for adults; $10 for seniors (62 and older) and young adults (ages 11-17). Tours are free for children 10 years old and younger.

A tour group at the Leopold Shack and Farm.
A group of people talking on a riverbank

Private Tours

Enjoy a private tour of the Leopold Shack and Farm and/or the Leopold Center. We look forward to creating a unique experience that works for your group! Learn more about private tours, and request your very own program below.

private tour rates

Minimum tour fee: $150 (groups of 1 to 20 people)
Groups of 21 to 40 people: $250.00
Groups of 41 to 60 people: $350.00
Groups of 61 to 80 people: $450.00
Groups of 80+: Request a quote

K12 & High Education Groups: Minimum tour fee is $125 for a group of 1 to 20 people. Number of people in groups of 1-20 follows the additional $100 per bracket as shown above. Teachers can apply for help with bus funding through Nature Net Express.

Group Size

We assign one guide for every 20 participants. Groups larger than 20 will need to tour in shifts. If your group is smaller than 10 people, we ask that you consider joining one of our guided, public tours. Groups of fewer than 10 people may still request a private tour so long as the minimum group tour fee of $150 is met.

Tour Options

Guided Shack Tour (2.5 hours): Learn about the history and philosophy of Aldo Leopold, walk through the landscapes that inspired A Sand County Almanac, and see the famous Shack .

Combined Tour: Shack and Center (3 hours): See how the thread of Leopold’s land ethic weaves together the historic Shack and the modern Leopold Center.

Dates and Times

Private tours of the Leopold Shack and Farm and/or the Leopold Center are available April-October. Tuesdays and Thursday tours begin  at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.; Friday tours begin at 9:30 a.m. Please note that group tour requests must be received at least 10 days before your desired tour date, and confirmed by foundation staff.

Tour Cancellations

Tours take place rain or shine! If you need to cancel your reservation, please provide at least 48 hours in advance for refund of any fees already paid. Cancellations within 24 hours of your tour time will be charged a fee of $75.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I see the inside of the Shack?

To see the inside of the Shack in person, reserve a guided tours or plan a visit during an Open Shack Friday. We also offer a virtual tour of the Shack, including the interior. Learn more about in-person visits on our tours page.

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Where is the Shack located?

To discourage unaccompanied visitation, we ask that all visitors check in for their visit at the Leopold Center, where we will give you a map and directions.

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Why do I have to pay a fee to visit the Shack?

As a non-profit organization, admission fees and donations are key contributors to our ability to maintain the Shack property and offer interpretive and educational programming to share the site with visitors throughout the year. Contact us at tours@aldoleopold.org for more information.

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Do you offer tours of the Shack to young children?

If you’re interested in bringing younger kids as part of a family visit, that is just fine! You can do a self-guided tour to explore the Shack property and the Leopold Center at your own pace, or feel free to sign up for a guided tour. Our tour guides do their best to tailor the content based on attendance, but be aware that most tour audiences are made up of adults.

We do have special events throughout the year that cater to kids of all ages. Contact us at tours@aldoleopold.org for more information.To reduce wear and tear on the historic Shack property, we do not encourage visitation by large groups of grade school and middle school students. A better option for school groups is a visit to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, WI, a separate but partner organization of the Leopold Foundation.

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Can I host my wedding at the Shack or Leopold Center?

No, we do not have the resources to accommodate private events such as wedding receptions.

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My architectural firm would like to tour the Leopold Center. What options exist?

Some engineering and architecture groups want a more technical tour of the Leopold Center’s design and construction features than our staff and regular tour guides are able to give. If your group would like a more specialized tour of the center, we can work with you to schedule an “expert tour” led by members of our building team.

Contact us at tours@aldoleopold.org for more information, but do plan farther in advance. Many of our building team members have extremely busy schedules and must travel here from a distance.

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Are the Shack and visitors center wheelchair accessible?

The visitor center is wheelchair accessible. Handicap parking is available up the hill from the main parking lot on the east side of the building. The Shack interior is not wheelchair accessible, but the dirt path from the Shack parking lot to structure's exterior is accessible to most visitors using wheelchairs or other assistive devices. For questions about accessibility and accommodations, please call (608) 355-0279.

Policies for Visitors

Our policies aim to ensure you have the safest, most enjoyable visit possible, and to protect the cultural and historic value of the Leopold Shack, the Leopold Center, and the surrounding landscape.

tour groups

  • Dress for the weather. Multiple layers and rain gear are strongly recommended.

  • Poison ivy and ticks are very common on the site. Closed-toe shoes and long pants are recommended.

  • In event of severe weather, a tour may be canceled or delayed.

  • If your group is not able to keep your tour appointment, we’ll try our best to reschedule your tour for a later date. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please let us know as far in advance as possible.

All Visitors

  • The Leopold Shack and Farm is not open to recreational use, and visitors may only access the Shack on a formal, guided or self-guided tour. Visitors must always check in at the Leopold Center first for permission to visit the Shack.

  • Use trails only during posted visitation hours, and please keep to the marked paths.

  • Dogs are not allowed at the Shack property, but they are welcome on the Leopold Center trails. Please use a leash and remove pet waste to keep the trails pleasant for all hikers.

  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails.

  • Smoking, use of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, and littering are prohibited.

  • Both ticks and poison ivy are present on the site. Use caution, stay on trails, and be sure to check yourself after your visit to be sure you have no “hitchhikers.”

  • Wear blaze orange when hiking during hunting seasons.

  • The 300-yard dirt driveway leading to the Shack is accessible by wheelchair, but the rest of the trails are not.

  • The Aldo Leopold Foundation assumes no responsibility for any injury and/or accident to a person or persons while visiting our property.

  • Swimming in the Wisconsin River is strictly prohibited. Currents are extremely dangerous and the bottom constantly shifts, creating drop-offs. Many people drown each year in this body of water. No swimming allowed.