Anniversary Celebration at Justin Trails Resort

Justin-Trails-Slide-2We are excited to announce that it is our both our 30th anniversary as Justin Trails Resort, and our centennial year on the farm! Don and I feel very blessed to have met so many wonderful guests, shared our rural lifestyle and land that has been in the Justin family for 100 years. To celebrate, we are giving away one free night every month through the end of the year!

Enter Now to Win a Free Night…


Make your reservation today, and if you win your free night will be applied to your stay! We will announce the winner in our monthly email newsletter, plus there will be a new link to enter and win, so be sure to watch your email! The lucky winners will receive a certificate for a one-night stay for two in the accommodation of their choice. See contest rules & conditions below.

Green travel in WisconsinHow It All Started…

Our farm has been in the same family for 100 years! On August 9th, we will receive the Centennial Farm Award at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. Don’s grandparents, Gustave and Apollonia Justin, orginally purchased this property in 1916, then Don’s parents, Raymond and Kathryn Justin, purchased it in 1944, and finally Don and I purchased the property from them in 1970. However, it wasn’t until 1986 that we transitioned from a working farm to a Wisconsin bed and breakfast.

I attended the Willie Nelson Farm and Ranch Congress in the summer of 1986. The speakers told sad tales of losing their farms that had been in their family for generations because they had borrowed too much money and could not repay the loans. It was very obvious to me listening that small farms were not going to survive the farm economy of the mid 1980s unless they diversified and found other ways to make a living. Enter the bed and breakfast inn venues. We stayed at two on our trip to and from the Congress and decided we could do better than either experience.

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We started with 2 rooms in our house, and found each October we did not have enough lodging for all the leaf peepers. So we added rooms in our house, added Little House on the Prairie, the Granary, another log cabin, converted the machine shed to the Lodge, the chicken coop to the camping cabin and finally converted the 1919 post and beam barn to the Elegant Barn Event building.

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We have been successful because over the years we have had awesome employees and interns in the Recreation Management Program. We listened to what guests wanted, added amenities, and the property has blossomed into a premier Wisconsin lodging establishment and wedding venue. We look forward to welcoming new and return guests to celebrate this exciting milestone with us!

Anniversary Giveaway Terms & Conditions

  • Winners will be randomly selected and notified via email.
  • Certificates are valid for one night for two people.
  • Certificates expire one year from the month awarded.
  • The certificates have no cash value and cannot be redeemed in combination with other special offers.
  • Please limit to one entry per household each month. We will include a link in every email newsletter for the next month’s giveaway, so you won’t miss an opportunity to enter again!

Wisconsin Bird Watching at Justin Trails Resort

An avid bird watcher, Anna from Columbia, MO visited our Wisconsin bed and breakfast on May 6-9 and spotted 38 unique species of birds! She came prepared with her own binoculars and lots of bird knowledge. Our daughter stopped at Barnes and Noble to purchase Anna a copy of her very own “Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide” by Stan Tekiela which fits perfectly in the back pocket of jeans.

Here are some of the species you will be able to see Wisconsin Bird Watching at Justin Trails Resort:

Another beautiful bird of note is the Scarlet Tanager. Charles, our sawyer, actually pointed out this very striking bird to me while we were working in the forest this June. The male’s body is bright red with black wings and tail, while female is less colorful and more difficult to spot as they are just a medium size bird who loves deep woods high in the canopy. Every year they visit at Justin Trails on their migration pattern to northern South America.

Total Birds Sited this Spring:

  • Barred Owl
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Palm Warbler
  • Blue-Gray gnatcatcher
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • House Finch
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Flicker
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • American Robin
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Blue Jay
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Gray Catbird
  • Song Sparrow
  • House Wren
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • American Goldfinch
  • Mourning Dove
  • Harriss Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Orchard Oriole

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Site

Wisconsin Wedding Locations

One of the most important elements of deciding on the venue for your wedding is make sure there is a stunning spot for your ceremony. Here are some top tips from Certified Wedding Planner Donna Justin of Justin Trails Resort for choosing the perfect ceremony site when looking at Wisconsin wedding locations, including some of our favorite spots at our beautiful Wisconsin barn wedding venue! We can accommodate guest lists up to 200 people in our newly remodeled Elegant Barn, and tented weddings up to 300 guests, with a variety of beautiful outdoor ceremony sites to choose from!

Top 3 items to consider when choosing a wedding ceremony site:

  1. Elevation and ease of accessibility for you and your guests.
  2. Direction of sun for both guests and your photographer.
  3. The photogenic qualities of the background, such as your favorite trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Some of our favorite ceremony locations at Justin Trails Resort:

Many couples choose the heart shaped garden with Magnolia trees, a small apple tree, hazelnut, Korean lilac and winter berry shrubs, native cup plant, butter cup plants. There is plenty of space for 200 chairs on level, grassy lawn.

Wisconsin farm wedding venue

Disc golf fans choose #4 hole next to the Catalpa tree on a 36-foot natural grassy circular mound.  This area creates some awesome photographs.

Nearby some choose between the River Birch and Magnolia with Blue Spruce and Hazelnut shrubs in the background. Photographers love the green background which allows the people in the photo to be highlighted.

Wisconsin Wedding Ceremony Locations

Purchase or build an arbor, set up for the ceremony on a site of your choosing, and then transport it back to your own yard as a remembrance of your wedding day.

Choose our beautiful Scandinavian Full-Scribe log cabin with the officiant standing on the porch while everyone faces the cabin for a cozy photo opportunity.

Wisconsin wedding country venue

Say your vows under our 150-year-old silver maple trees with an idyllic cornfield as backdrop creating an intimate space.

Our grand barn doors, 12 x 18 feet between 2 concrete stave silos, are great for fall color theme create colorful photos.

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Disc golf hole #18 on the hillside fairway. Choose to have your guests walk up to the ceremony site on the hill, or make a grand entrance by walking down the hill to your guests at the bottom.

Contact Certified Wedding Planner Donna Justin 608-269-4522 or donna@justintrails.com to schedule a tour of our Wisconsin barn wedding venue today!

Join Us for an Adventurous Wisconsin Honeymoon

Wisconsin Honeymoon

Escape to Justin Trails Resort for your honeymoon in Wisconsin and relax under 125-year-old maple trees, explore our hiking trails, play disc golf, enjoy a bonfire, stargaze or just relax and soak it all in. Set on a beautiful 200 acre organic farm, our farmhouse suites and cabins in Wisconsin are the ultimate romantic getaway!

Top Wisconsin Honeymoon Activities…

disc golf course Wisconsin

Disc Golf

Justin Trails Classic Course is a recreational course that can be played in an hour to an hour and half (depending how long you prefer to daydream at the Pond). The Big Brother Course is a championship course with 280 feet of elevation change several times with awesome views of Leon Valley, Wisconsin.  Play as many rounds as you like or choose a glow round at night. (Download Map)

Wisconsin Biking Trails

Biking

Minutes from Justin Trails Resort is the first Rails to Trails Project in America, the Elroy-Sparta Trail. The trail remains one of the most popular biking trails in the country. With three rock tunnels and five small towns along its 32.5-mile route, the trail is a favorite Wisconsin bicycling destination. Speed’s Bike Shop in Sparta provides rentals, repair, trail passes, as well as a shuttle service to Elroy-Sparta Trail and other area bike trails.

Wisconsin Trail Riding

Horseback Riding

At Red Rock Trail Rides, only 10 minutes away from Justin Trails, you can choose from 26 gentle, well-trained horses & ponies. There are 10+ miles of groomed trails covering ridge and valley, divided into 3 trails depending on your riding experience level.

Wisconsin Canoeing

Water Sports

For canoeing and kayaking, you can enjoy Black River and Kickapoo River, the most crooked river in the world. For all your gear, get outfitted by Titanic, Kickapoo Paddle Inn, and Drifty’s in Ontario on the Kickapoo River. On the La Crosse River choose Ellistone Canoe rental. If you prefer even more adventure with a jet ski, kayak, pontoon, paddle, or fishing boat, Sid’s Bay on Lake Neshonoc is the place to be.

Wazee Lake, Wisconsin’s deepest lake at 355 feet, near Black River Falls has Wazee Sports Center with scuba equipment for rent and Marineland Dive Center offers instruction as well as rentals. The water is crystal clear approximately 30 to 40 feet deep.

Among the coulees, hills and valleys is some of America’s most beautiful topography and scenery.  Mosey over to the Mississippi River in La Crosse for a ride on the La Crosse Queen paddle tour boat or the sleek Island Girl. Tour the Riverside International Friendship Gardens in Riverside Park honoring business and friendships with Bantry, Ireland; Dubna, Russia; Epinal, France; Forde, Norway; Friedberg, Germany and Luoyang, China.

Wine Tasting Wisconsin

Tasting Tours

There are more than 20 wineries in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin that you can visit. Take in the rolling hills and bluffs from the luxury of a limousine with Mike Cimino, Mr. Trip-It. Leave the driving to him, relax, enjoy country views and hear local folklore first hand.

If craft beer is more your style, check out Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Kinky Kabin Brewing in Bangor and Sand Creek Brewery in Black River Falls.

Farm to Table Dining Wisconsin

Farm to Table Dining

There are a number of excellent local restaurants to enjoy during your Wisconsin getaway in Sparta, only 15 minutes from Justin Trails Resort, as well as the charming town of Viroqua or the bustling downtown of LaCrosse, each about 30 minutes away.

Wisconsin Amish Country

Explore Amish Culture

Have you always been curious about the Amish culture?  We have a map of the Amish community that is complete with shops and their specialties, great for a tour. The Amish tour can also include a stop at Wildcat Mountain State Park or Kickapoo Reserve to view their interpretive map of the Driftless Region or for a hike of your choice.

Wisconsin cabins

Relax at the Resort

Relax at the resort and chill with an evening fire. We can provide the fire pit and fire wood so you never have to leave the comfort of our inn. Prefer to grill out? We will provide the grill and gas or charcoal and you can head to Organic Valley retail store which is just minutes away with all the organic fixing’s. Northwood Market and Foss Fine Meats in Sparta have the best meat available for your BBQ feast.

Fat Tire Biking Wisconsin

Winter Sports

Your winter honeymoon includes use of groomed cross country skating and striding trails, skijoring, fat tire biking, snowshoeing and snow tubing.  Ski and snowshoe rental available with knowledgeable help getting fitted and lessons by Donna.

Our top rated Wisconsin bed and breakfast provides you with an array of activities to create the ultimate escape from reality for you and your new spouse. Your new life should begin with romance, adventures and excitement. Join us at the Justin Trails Resort for a truly unique experience!

Anniversary Promotion

Win a Free Night…

We are celebrating our 30th anniversary by giving away free one night stays! Book today and if you win, your free night can be applied towards your stay!

Enter Now

Wisconsin Yoga Retreats: Meditation, Sound Healing, and Painting

India visits Wisconsin! Come to our Wisconsin bed and breakfast April 29th – May 1st and spend a weekend in India with Master Akhilanka during our all-inclusive Wisconsin yoga retreat.

Sound Healing, Meditation and Painting : April 29 – May 1, 2016

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Akhilanka – Temple of Singing Bowls

Our journey will include:

  • Meditation pratice
  • Learning about the magic of the Sound of Tibetan Singing Bowls
  • Discovering your own creativity, your own story, your own awareness
  • Expressing yourself through painting
  • Nada Yoga (sound yoga) and Expressive Dance
  • A special musicial performance Saturday evening. Local Musician and LaCrosse native Jeff Cozy will peform with Akhilanka playing Native American wood flutes

Space is limited, register today!

All-Inclusive Weekend | $375 per person

Includes lodging, all meals, and art supplies

Retreat Only (No Lodging) | $199 per person

To register, contact Laura Haberstroh at 262-844-9213

See more upcoming Wisconsin yoga retreats at Justin Trails Resort.

Top 3 Reasons to Bring Fido to Justin Trails Resort

Wisconsin Pet friendly resorts
Does your dog love being outside running and playing fetch? Or, maybe you and Fido prefer the slower pace of a nice long walk. Justin Resort is one of the top Wisconsin pet friendly resorts you can visit together with your canine companion! We welcome any size or breed of dog and have created a home-away-from-home including a dog park, miles of outdoor walking trails and accommodations where pets stay with you. Plus all our Wisconsin bed and breakfast cabins and suites are pet friendly!

The top 3 dog-friendly reasons to choose Justin Trails Resort as your next day or overnight destination:

  1. Pet Fun: Much of our 200 acre property (151 football fields) includes park-like walking trails with soft grass for barefoot walking and off-leash running! Open meadows and steep hills delight even the smallest dogs.
  2. Location: Our easy to find Wisconsin resort is safe for dogs to play far from busy streets and is located less than 10 minutes from I-90.
  3. Easy Pet Policy: Pets may stay overnight with you $15/day/pet in any of our lodging. Pets may also stay with you when camping at no extra charge. There is no weight restriction or deposit required.

Justin Trails Resort is open daily 8 am – 8 pm and welcome guests & pets to enjoy our outdoor recreation. Day Visitor Trail Passes, good for one day, are $5 for adults, under age 5 no charge. For overnight guests, trail access is included with your stay. Reserve your getaway at our dog-friendly oasis today!

Family Friendly Getaways in Wisconsin

Family Friendly Wisconsin Getaways

Justin Trails Resorts is the perfect destination for family friendly getaways in Wisconsin! We offer lots of outdoor activities on our beautiful organic farm, including hiking, disc golf, feeding our llamas, sledding, and more. Families and togetherness are wonderful, but when it comes to lodging you want your own private space, right? That’s why we offer individual cabins and cottages with separate entrances, kitchenettes, bathrooms, whirlpools, air conditioning and private porches/decks.

Family Friendly Wisconsin

When you area ready to venture off the farm, a short 10 minute drive to Sparta WI brings you to the Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail, the first rails-to-trails bike trail in the United States (50th Anniversary in 2015). Speeds Bike Shop can handle all your biking needs. If horseback riding is your passion, head to beautiful Red Rock Trail Rides only 10 minutes away.

Wanna get wet? Drive a scenic thirty minutes to Ontario WI where families meander the Kickapoo, the most crooked river in North America and one of the best-loved canoeing rivers in the Upper Midwest. Wildcat Mountain State Park is a short 10 minutes away or check out the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, 8,000 acres of gorgeous!

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Looking for a nearby museum where your kids can learn a little history? The Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum is a short 10 minute drive to Sparta WI. Sparta Wisconsin is the Bicycling Capital of America with the Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail, the first Rails to Trails Program in the country in which old railroad tracks are converted into bike trails. Deke Slayton is a Sparta native and one of America’s first astronauts. The community wanted to celebrate both of these traditions and the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum was born!

And don’t worry, you can bring the whole family because all of our lodging is pet friendly! Start planning your Wisconsin getaway today!

A Travel Green Wisconsin Resort

Traveling Green? Justin Trails Resort is a Certified Travel Green Wisconsin Inn!

Wisconsin Travel Green BadgeIf you’re looking for an environmentally friendly resort, then you are in luck! Justin Trails Resort near Sparta WI was awarded one of ten Eco-Luxury Inns awarded in 2010 from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

Travel Green Wisconsin is a voluntary, affordable program that reviews, certifies and recognizes tourism businesses that have made a commitment to continuously improve their operations in order to reduce their environmental and social impact. This program helps businesses evaluate their operations, set goals and take specific actions toward environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Travel Green Wisconsin Resort

We recently renovated our 1919 timber frame barn opening as the “Elegant Barn” on August 31st 2013 for Wisconsin barn weddings, retreats, conferences, graduations, anniversaries, events and a dance hall. We added geothermal heat to the entire lower level and bathrooms up in the loft.  Each toilet is equipped with two flush levers: the green uses a small amount of water and the silver deploys a “usual” amount of water.

Farmer Paul rents 50 acres on which he grows organic alfalfa, corn and soy beans. In addition gardeners grow organic fruits and vegetables on 2 acres that they sell at local farmer’s markets.

Repurposing is key to our operations, whether it’s our buildings or our day to day work.  As you can imagine, we go through a lot of eggs during breakfast, so it’s important that we use a compost system at our Wisconsin resort. We are very serious about stewardship of our land.

Green travel in Wisconsin

We are also actively involved in land restoration and Don & Donna Justin won the 2013 Aldo Leopold Restoration Award – the Virginia M. Kline Award for Community-Based Ecological Restoration. Our land restoration began with deer hunters and disc golfers who volunteered because they wanted to clean up the woods. Since then, over 100 people have helped with our restoration projects.  Our land restoration efforts include restoring a naturally occurring burr oak savannah and goat prairies by controlling invasive species, revitalizing native plants and proactively reseeding wildflowers.

Plan your green Wisconsin getaway to Justin Trails Resort today!

Justin Trails Nature Scavenger Hunt

We have put a special scavenger hunt together for our guests. A great activity for families to enjoy while stay at our cabins in Wisconsin! Follow any route our trail map and have fun enjoying the outdoors, learning something new & great exercise!

1. The Windmill – Behind the barn on the hill you will find a windmill. Bonus: As you walk along our Bambi Lane Trail, you will observe a large black walnut tree on your left. The tree has a wooden sign with the number 1 and a tent symbol to designate this is campsite #1.

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2. The Pond – Just up the hill from the Black Walnut tree is our pond. This was built during the 1940’s to retain water so our buildings are not flooded. The Pond is fed by springs. We have a total of 3 ponds. This pond is also fed by another pond as well as the springs. Dogs love to swim and drink from this pond.

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3. Black Oak Tree on # 15 Fairway – Above the Pond is the fairway for #15 on the Big Brother Disc Golf Course. As you climb the hill, you will find a Black Oak tree among many birch trees. Look for this Black Oak tree on left side of trail near top of hill.

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4. Birch Trees – You will find numerous Birch Trees around our property. Some are tall, some are very big around their trunks and some are just saplings.

 

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5. Female American Goldfinch – You may spot Goldfinch’s anywhere on our resort. Keep your eyes peeled! Bonus points for great photos!

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6. Wildlife Observation Station – As you pass the Black Oak tree and make your way to the top of the hill, you will see the path leads to your right. This path will take you to our wildlife observation station. You can see 180 degrees from here…gorgeous!!

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7. Scenic Overlook – Enjoy our Scenic Overlook from the #16 T-Pad on the Big Brother Disc Golf Course. Here you will be able to see 180 degrees of gorgeous. If you head down the hill to the basket for #16, you will be treated to a 360 degree view!!

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8. Burr Oak – One of the most massive oaks with a trunk diameter of up to 10 ft. Commonly lives to be 200 to 300 years old, and may live up to 400 years.

Justin-Trails-Scavenger-Hunt-89. Native Marker Tree – After passing by the Burr Oak, follow Doe Chase Trail and look for a marker tree on right side of trail. This is called a marker tree because Native Americans used a thong (y-shaped branch) to train a branch to grow horizontally. Everything in the woods grew vertically, so a tree with a horizontal branch would be easier to spot. Marker trees pointed to good water and anything else they wanted to find. Snap a photo if you would like. Continue on the Doe Chase Trail until you see a sign for “The Rock.” then head up the trail to The Rock.

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10. The Rock – On your way to The Rock first you will walk past a flat rock with a round hole carved out. Next you will pass several rock formations until you find two large ones about 12 feet tall, 18 feet long and 5 feet wide. Climb up and you’ll find orange and black moss and a wonderful view. GREAT NEWS! Once you are up…”you are up” – – it’s all downhill from the Rock!

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