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Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center

August 9 - August 15

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After three major floods in a two year time frame, resources that would normally go into trail maintenance have gone into flood clean-up. The Goat Loop Trail and Stry Wold Trail have almost completely naturalized as a result. Help with clearing these two trails, potentially re-routing trails so that hikers no longer get lost in these beautiful spots, will be a priority. Working on the trails surrounding the Poplar Creek will be another priority. These trails were heavily damaged in the floods; clearing the spring growth of invasive plants, working to clear the remaining flood damage in places, and a variety of other issues that will develop over the winter are examples of this work. Rebuilding bridges lost in the floods, rebuilding historic corrals lost to flooding, maintenance work on historic buildings such as chinking may also be on the project list.


Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center




Day hiking up to 5 miles each work day

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

Three majestic rivers and the beautiful bluffs surrounding them make La Crosse County the perfect outdoor recreation area. You can kayak, fish, or just cruise the Mississippi, and Hixon Forest is full of trails for hiking and biking. La Crosse’s brewing tradition is nearly as old as the state of Wisconsin, dating back to the 1858 founding of the G. Heileman Brewing Company and the iconic Old Style brand. Since Heileman’s doors closed in 1996, City Brewing Company has taken up the standard, and today you can see the World’s Largest Six-Pack dressed up as their popular La Crosse Lager. If you want to support independent, local businesses, historic downtown La Crosse has a vibrant shopping district full of the region’s finest specialty shops. Bargain hunters have their work cut out for them, with dozens of thrift and consignment stores to choose from, not to mention one of the largest antique malls in the state. Up for a road trip? Enjoy beautiful scenery, access to excellent hiking, fishing, scenic overlooks, and of course the picturesque Mississippi River along the Wisconsin Great River Road. U.S. Highway 35 covers 250 miles in the state of Wisconsin, from Prescott in the north to Kieler in the south. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge has a Visitor Center on Brice Prairie with many displays and exhibits, a bookstore, and over two miles of trail through a renovated sand prairie. The refuge is 261 miles long, the longest in the nation and one of the most visited.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will stay in The Paulson Cabin, a 150 year old hand-hewn log cabin, actually lived in by Per & Anne Paulson and their family. The cabin has a loft with a double bed and a single bed. The main living area has two queen size futons. There is a roll-away bed in the basement that can be used as well. Camping is generally not allowed at Norskedalen; however for this group, we would allow two tents in the yard of the Paulson Cabin if so desired. We have added a modern kitchen and bathroom to the cabin! The stairs in this home are steep, as that was the way it was built. It is delightfully decorated with Norwegian rosemaling and other treats. This would be the main guest area for your group. A second site is available if needed. The Farmhouse, another historic home with modern plumbing, has room for another 6 guests. One queen bed on the main floor, 4 twin beds on the second floor. There would not be camping options on this property. Laundry, wifi, bed linens, cookware and dishes are supplied at both facilities. Both properties also house museums with historic buildings, and are fairly remote in their locations. Volunteers should bring their own towels and personal gear.


Airport Pickup Provided from La Crosse Municipal Airport. Airport pickup and dropoff times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.


Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center
N455 O. Ophus Road, Coon Valley, Wisconsin 54623 United States