This is a special land, where the bounties of nature pair with unmatched recreational opportunities. Whether your interest is ATV and motorcycle trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, walking, bird-watching or simply absorbing the solitude of nature, Black River Country is your destination.

We start with the river that was called Neosheprah “Dark River” by Native Americans and was later called La Riviere Noire (The Black River) by French explorers. The dark color of the waters is due to the natural tannic acids that leach from the oak and tamarack forests and sphagnum moss bogs in the 200-mile long river’s watershed.

Used by lumberjacks to float millions of logs downstream in the 1800s, today the Black River remains an excellent fishery and a favorite spot for canoeists and kayakers, along with some of its tributaries like Hall Creek, Robinson Creek and Morrison Creek. Dams in Hatfield and Black River Falls have created flowages excellent for water recreation.

The eastern part of Jackson County was once part of an ancient glacial lake and contains nearly 200,000 acres of public land. Much of that land surrounds the upper Black River, creating a pristine and quiet wilderness experience.

When we say unmatched recreational opportunities, we mean it. Enjoy scuba driving in the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin. The 1,300-acre Wazee Lake Recreation Area features a 146-acre lake with clear waters that attract scuba divers from all over.

Our ATV/motorcycle trail system features more than 100 miles of trails and is linked to 135 more miles in neighboring Clark County. Experience a ride that takes you along rock hills, pristine meadows, over clear streams or through thick canopies of pine and oak forest.

The recreation continues in the winter, with more than 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, plus cross-country and snowshoe trails. Whether you favor silent sports or motorized fun, you will enjoy a landscape with natural beauty that abounds with wildlife, including bear, deer, turkey, wolves and even elk.

Enjoy indoor activities like having fun at Ho-Chunk Gaming, shopping in historic downtown Black River Falls, visiting a brewery or wineries, exploring museums and dining at fine restaurants and taverns. There are plenty of lodging options with motels, cabins, bed and breakfasts and camping. You can travel around Wisconsin — and the nation — and you’d be challenged to find a place with so much to do, see and experience in the midst of such friendly hosts. No – we don’t have it all – there is no professional sports team in Black River Country – but we think we have a very special place. We invite you to come and see for yourself.


Black River Falls was designated as the seat of Jackson County in 1853. In 1872, Black River Falls became the first village in the state to establish a free city library. The new public library, located at 222 Fillmore Street, is the home of the Jackson County History Room. The Jackson County Historical Society is active in the historical preservation in the county. A Historical Society Museum is located in the original Carnegie Library building.

Learn More About the Early History of Black River Falls