Adams County offers some great places to visit while you are exploring the area. Listed below are some of the tours, museums, library and historical sites you can enjoy.
The McGowan House
Having lost his house to fire in 1889, Dr. Emmett McGowan rebuilt his home and furnished it in the Gothic Revival style popular during the period, incorporating several unique decorative elements rescued from the blaze. The nine-room, two-and-a half story house reflects Dr. McGowan’s social standing in the Village of Friendship in the days before the railroad arrived in Adams County.
The Adams County Historical Society, through Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Consolidated Papers Foundation grants, and numerous private donations, presented the newly-restored, partly furnished McGowan House to visitors for the first time in October 1996.
The McGowan House is the site of the Historical Society’s offices, library and archives, and will be open to the public on weekends from May through October.
The Adams County Library is located in the Community Center, 569 N Cedar Street in Adams. The shelves hold over 18,000 books, reference works, CDs, videos, and cassettes. The library also participates in the Inter-Library Loan Program which can place virtually every library book in Wisconsin in patrons’ hands.
An average of 1,500 library patrons check out 4,000 items each month. Over 1,100 children and adults attend one or more of eight summer programs offered at the library, with 285 kids served during the summer reading program alone.
The Van Kuren Trail
Named after Gilbert Van Kuren, an early settler to the area, the Van Kuren Trail is located in the town of Strongs Prarie. Lake Van Kuren was a backwater of the main Wisconsin River Channel and was eventually inundated as a result of the construction of a dam and the creation of Petenwell Flowage in 1949.
The Van Kuren Trail is a 2.7 mile year round trail that meanders through rolling landscape, winding through stands of oak and pine, and affording views of wetlands and the 23,000 acre Petenwell Flowage. Quiet observers will see a variety of birds and other wildlife. Interpretive markers along the trail provide explanations of some of the unique features and near the midpoint, a shelter and fire ring is provided. The Van Kuren Trail is located in western Adams County off Chicago Avenue in Strongs Prairie.
Quincy Bluff and Wetlands Natural Area
Quincy Bluff is located in what the first inhabitants called “the valley by Chicoongrah (window in the rock).” It is a unique 10,500 acre natural area jointly administered by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It contains a vast wetland complex sandwiched between sandstone ridges and buttes such as Quincy Bluff, Lone Rock, and Rattlesnake Mound. Extensive oak and pine barrens and northern dry forest border the preserve. Nine rare plant species and the very rare Karner Blue Butterfly make their homes within the boundaries of this ecological treasure.
Recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, bird watching, and hiking are permitted so long as these rare resources are not harmed.