DescriptionPrairie du Sac and its neighbor Sauk City, on the high-bluffed west bank of the Wisconsin River, share a colorful historical character, Agoston Haraszthy. Arriving in 1841 with flamboyant attire, an international perspective and high ideals, the Hungarian nobleman fostered free thought in the Wisconsin wilderness. He also established some of the first vineyards in this fertile area before moving on to California, where his vineyards became the foundation of the wine industry.
The towns are the eastern terminus of scenic route the Lower Wisconsin River Road that follows SR 60 west along the Wisconsin River and ends in Prairie du Chien; it is the first Wisconsin state highway designated as a scenic byway. The 92 miles of free-flowing water between the dam at Prairie du Sac and the river’s mouth near Prairie du Chien—along with a large swath of land along both sides—have been designated as the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. Nearly 80,000 acres are within the Riverway’s boundaries, which encompass fisheries, undeveloped land filled with wildlife and historical and archeological sites.
A portion of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway includes the Battle of Wisconsin Heights site. Led by Chief Black Hawk, a small band of Native American warriors fought federal and state forces in what would be the last such battle in the region. Black Hawk's defeat led to the continued westward expansion of the United States. The chief directed his forces from atop his white stallion near a spot where five effigy mounds can be seen today.
Canoeing, fishing, hiking and horseback riding are popular activities along the river, and campers can pitch their tents on most state-owned lands; phone (608) 588-2591 or (608) 935-3368 for information.
Visitor InfoSauk-Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce 109 Phillips Blvd. SAUK CITY, WI 53583. Phone:(608)643-4168 or (800)683-2453
Self-guiding toursBrochures describing bald eagle watching in winter and a walking tour of Prairie du Sac's historic homes and businesses are available from the chamber of commerce.
WINERIESWollersheim Winery & Distillery