Photo by Full Spectrum Photography
Thirty miles of recreational trails wind through the Janesville area, making it the perfect place to recreate outside, especially during the colorful fall foliage season. Most of these paths are paved, too, and perfect for walking, hiking, biking and rollerblading.
The city’s premier pathway is the Ice Age Trail (IAT), a 1,150-mile National Scenic Trail that meanders throughout the state. Janesville is home to nearly 20 miles of the IAT, including the pretty Arbor Ridge Segment, which unspools 2.1 miles through the Robert O. Cooke Arboretum, and the 1.8-mile Devil’s Staircase, which features prime views of the Rock River and steep, stone steps dating to the 1920s. From there, the IAT loops around town on a paved path popular with walkers and cyclists, then heads out of town on the Janesville to Milton Segment, a portion of which includes a shady, multi- use recreational trail created from a former railway bed.
Art fans may prefer to walk or bike along the city’s Public Art Trail. Using an online or printed map, look for the 28 colorful murals spread throughout the city center, then track down Janesville’s collection of sculptures, statues, historical markers and monuments. Bessie the Cow, a 16-foot-tall, fiberglass sculpture, makes a great photo opp, while the historic Monterey Rock marks a shallow spot in the Rock River that served as a landmark for early settlers.
Another great outdoor option is to wander through the 20-acre Rotary Botanical Gardens. You’ll find an intriguing mix of 26 different garden styles here, including Japanese, Scottish, French Formal (complete with an elegant pergola) and English Cottage. There’s also a labyrinth to explore and a children’s garden.
Skelly’s Farm Market has been creating corn mazes since 1998, with two different mazes available now through Halloween. The six-acre Adventure Maze is great for younger kids and families, and is filled with adventures reminiscent of an escape room. The nine- acre Impossible Maze is geared toward older kids and adults, with video game elements accessed via your smartphone. Skelly’s also offers pumpkin picking, wagon rides, an apple cannon and delectable fall foods, such as caramel apples and pumpkin donuts.
2713 S. Hayner Rd., Janesville
Every Saturday from June through October, the Janesville Farmers’ Market is open. Held at the Janesville Town Square, the Wisconsin-producer-only market offers a wide variety of local goods. Think fresh produce, honey, meat, cheese, eggs, annual and perennial plants, flowers and more. You’ll even find artisanal products for sale here, plus food-truck fare. Live music and kids’ activities are also frequently on tap.
8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Janesville Town Square, 21 Dodge St.
Plan your visit at janesvillecvb.com