Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center
Unforgettable in Every Season
Norskedalen (which means the Norwegian Valley), is a nature and heritage center dedicated to preserving, interpreting and sharing the natural environment and cultural heritage of the area surrounding Coon Valley in southwest Wisconsin. Norskedalen has so much to offer in so many different ways, exploring the natural beauty, regional history and traditional Norwegian heritage of the region.
Come visit Norskedalen for our exciting special events throughout the year, our family friendly programming such as Norskedalen Nights, or try our heritage classes or attend the Sometimes on a Sunday programs, schedule one of the many educational classes for your school or group, experience unique lodging in our 130 year old Paulsen Cabin, or rent Norskedalen for your meetings or events, and think of Norskedalen as a fascinating group tour destination for groups of all sizes. Norskedalen is open to everyone, and we welcome you.
Norskedalen is rich in history, with a carefully preserved collection of the original log and stone buildings crafted by the immigrants (mainly Norwegian) to this area in the second half of the 1800's. Guided tours offered every day from May through October bring you into the Bekkum Homestead, a Norwegian 'tun' or farmstead, so that you can see first hand how the settlers lived on and with the land.
Norskedalen is rich in natural beauty and diversity, encompassing about 400 acres of scenic coulee (valley) along Poplar Creek. While hiking the over 6 miles of trails one can encounter an amazingly wide variety of flora and fauna. The trails take you through pine plantations, over the cold, clear, creek, past many springs bubbling up into crystal pools and spilling into the creek, along wooded hillsides and rocky outcrops of goat prairies, and along the valley floor.
Norskedalen's collection includes artifacts brought with the settlers from Norway, Native American artifacts from Lloyd and his sister Ruth Thrune, and an inviting hands-on nature room where kids can use all their senses to explore nature.
Norskedalen also includes the Norskedalen Heritage Site (formerly Skumsrud Heritage Farm), located approximately 4 miles from the main Norskedalen grounds. This is a 44 acre open air summer museum site with buildings such as the first school house in the area and the oldest surviving log building in Vernon County, the 1853 Skumsrud cabin. This site is open by appointment or for the Art Fair & Wine Tasting event in July.
You can spend the night in an authentic 130 year-old log cabin when you rent the Paulsen Cabin. Located on a secluded hillside overlooking the grounds, this year-round cabin sleeps six and is fully furnished. Perfect for getting away and spending a relaxing time with those you care about.
Nisse Note: Throughout the website, when you see this icon, you will find helpful tips from Norskedalen's very own Nisse, Sven. Sven was created for Norskedalen by Evelyn Larson. Click here for more information on Nisse and Trolls.
Photo credits: Bekkum Homestead by Harlan Olson, Ladies on Skis - Norskedalen Archives.