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Summer Day Trip Activities in Portage, Wisconsin

Updated: May 22, 2022

Located just outside of the Wisconsin Dells, and only 40 miles from Madison, Portage is the perfect destination for your next day trip adventure. Named for its unique location between the Wisconsin River and Fox River, the town of Portage grew as a settlement resulting from all of the “portaging'' traffic from traders, Indians, trappers, and missionaries. Today it showcases its unique history and offers ample recreation opportunities. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite “must-do” activities for your next day trip.

Canoe and Kayak on the Wisconsin River

Have you ever wanted to canoe or kayak on the Wisconsin River, but don’t have the equipment, and don’t want to figure out a spot to put in or take out? Let Wild Wisco Waters manage your trip for you. In addition to the canoe and kayak rental, they will transport you to their day paddle trip location that begins in Sunset Park in Portage. Enjoy paddling down a stretch of the Wisconsin River with sandbars to stop and relax with your friends and family. It’s a perfect canoe or kayak trip that’s family and pet friendly. Experience not required; Wild Wisco Waters offers guided trips for canoe and kayak beginners. Reserve your dates today for your adventure on the Wisconsin River.

Travel During the Taste of Portage, August 26-27, 2022

If you’d like to get out and get to know Portage, visit during the Taste of Portage, August 26-27, 2022. The event features live music, food and drinks, plentiful activities for kids, and an arts and craft show and car show. The event also offers a walking tour of downtown. More information will be available closer to the event at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce

Get your “History-On” at the Historic Indian Agency House and Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters

Originally constructed in 1832, the Historic Indian Agency House was built to serve as the home and workplace for Indian sub-agent John H. Kinzie in part to fulfill requirements of a treaty between the Ho-Chunk and the United States government. This site now offers an opportunity to learn about that tumultuous time that saw the intersection of geography, culture, and history. Open seasonally, the site features tours, events, exhibits, and plenty to explore on their walking trails. Continue your historical journey and travel down the road to the Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters. Built between 1816 and 1819 as a fur trader’s cabin, it was sold to the Army in 1828 and became the Surgeons Quarters of Fort Winnebago. An historic site since 1970, they offer many events, including historical reenactments, apple picking, ghost tours, and more. Open seasonally.

Taste Wine at Rock N Wool Winery

Venture 10 miles south of Portage to Rock N Wool Winery. Originally this 40 acre rocky property was a family farm that raised sheep, hence the name “Rock N Wool.” Luckily the vines love the drainage that the soil offers. They offer plenty of events, from bingo and euchre, to wagon rides, and of course wine tastings and snacks. The owners promise to use grapes only grown in Wisconsin for their wines.

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