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In the winter of 1935, Aldo Leopold went down a two-track, sand road in search of land for a family hunting camp. Alongside the Wisconsin River, he found a worn-out farm available for eight dollars per acre. Leopold and his family spent the next decades restoring the landscape that would inspire his conservation classic, A Sand County Almanac, and inform his enduring idea of a land ethic. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark for its exceptional historic value to the nation, the Leopold Shack & Farm welcomes thousands of visitors year-round to experience the natural beauty, ecological health, historical context, and inspiration of this place.
Winter is an especially meaningful time to visit. The stillness of the woods and prairie after fresh-fallen snow provide quiet, peaceful moments for reflection.
Self-guided tours of the Leopold Shack & Farm are offered during visitation hours, and trails are available for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Explore the Shack and surrounding land guided by a brochure that includes a trail map, historic photos of the land, and background information on Aldo Leopold’s history and legacy. The trail loop on the property 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.
Note that the Shack itself is shuttered and locked during self-guided tours. Check-in at the Leopold Center and explore the free exhibits to learn more about Leopold, the Shack, and the ongoing work at the foundation.
Self-guided tour fees are $7 per person. Tours are free for Aldo Leopold Foundation members and for children 10 and younger.
Hike, ski, or snowshoe in the diverse landscape surrounding the Leopold Center. Explore oak savanna, wetlands, and a high-quality, dry prairie remnant overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley on our 2.5-mile trail network.
Trails are open year-round during our visiting hours, and interpretive signs along the trail help tell the story of the landscape.
Winter Visiting Hours, November through early April:
Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Questions? Give us a call and we’ll happily help you plan your visit.
Feature photo, top, courtesy of Cliff Nieuwenhuis.