Worth the Drive: Clintonville

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Dan Meyer

Planes, trains and automobiles all share the spotlight in Clintonville’s history (sadly, there are no John Candy sightings on record). Founded in 1855, Clintonville was added to the Chicago and Northwestern Railway line in 1878. The line ran for more than 100 years before closing in 1995. Clintonville is also home to the Seagrave Fire Apparatus plant, currently the longest-running manufacturer of its kind in the United States. Fire trucks aren’t the only reason Clintonville High School’s mascot is the Trucker. The town is also the birthplace of four-wheel-drive technology, an invention by the aptly named Badger Four Wheel Drive Auto Company. Clintonville’s municipal airport was once home to one of the largest airlines in the country: North Central Airlines, founded in 1944. The airline quickly became a major player in the industry, flying to over 100 locations in the United States. The airline was eventually incorporated into Delta Airlines, but its history remains in the spirit of the town.

Clintonville has a rich and storied history, but its national recognition isn’t entirely from the 20th century. In 2012, mysterious noises shook the town. There was no obvious source to the sound and Clintonville was covered by national news outlets as a different kind of “Boomtown.” Eventually, scientists determined that the town had been hit by a 1.6 magnitude earthquake, just the second recorded earthquake in Wisconsin since 1947.


Nothing beats sitting back and relaxing in some of Clintonville’s most well-known parks situated along the Pigeon River.



Olen Park
Olen Park has recreation options for everyone, ranging from summer classics like disc golfing, baseball, tennis and basketball to wintery pursuits like ice skating. The park is just one block away from Main Street and serves as home to the Clintonville A’s, Clintonville’s amateur baseball team. Olen Park is the heart of a thriving Parks and Recreation program, featuring 15 different park facilities within the town’s boundaries.





Pigeon Lake
Pigeon Lake makes up a large majority of Clintonville’s eastern border, feeding into the Pigeon River cutting through the middle of town. The lake is ideal for the casual fan of fishing, with a wide variety of fish and beautiful views of the adjacent Riverside Golf Course. The lake’s close proximity to the town’s boundaries allows for casual fishing without taking up the entire day with long stretches of travel.




Picnic Point
Picnic Point was given its name for a reason: the park’s well-kept grounds and outlook over Pigeon Lake have made it an ideal picnicking destination. The park offers a hiking trail from the lake to points along the Pigeon River and connects with the Pickerel Point Neighborhood Playground. The Point’s west-facing location makes it the perfect place to watch the sunset reflecting off the gentle waters of Pigeon Lake.



Up Next: Classic Clintonville Dining


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