As the hometown of the famous Ringling Brothers, Baraboo attracts visitors with Circus World Museum. Their famous circus wintered there at the turn of the century. Baraboo is also the home of the International Crane Foundation, an eco-resource that protects and displays a mating pair of each of the world’s fifteen crane species. Just outside Baraboo, Devil’s Lake State Park is a geologic gem. Created by the glaciers, the park’s spring-fed lake is surrounded on three sides by 500-foot-high bluffs.
Nearby, in North Freedom, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum offers 45-minute rides aboard an old-fashioned train. To the south, Merrimac is a tiny crossroads community at the southern end of Lake Wisconsin, a broad expanse of the Wisconsin River created by a hydroelectric dam just downriver. The lake is a popular vacation destination, while the town is famous for its free car ferry service across the river.