Viroqua is 30 minutes SE of La Crosse, approximately 3.5 hours from Milwaukee and the Twin Cities, 4 hours from NW Chicagoland; just 20 minutes to the Mississippi River.
Three Chimney’s Rock Formation is just outside of Viroqua. It highlights the anchient seafloor mountain range that makes up the topography of the area.
As a fascinating aside, the entire Valley was slated to be flooded as part of a huge Army Corps of Engineers damn project. For several reasons the project was halted in 1973… now, we can enjoy the land and its spirit everyday, just as it has been for thousands of years. A large part of the Valley is permanently protected in the 8,500 acre Kickapoo Valley Reserve.
There’s much to do in Viroqua, many hidden shops and hippie hang outs but the most impressive feature of Viroqua is the alternative high school.
The old, rich soil has supported decades of farming, and has been particularly suited to organic farming. The surrounding area has become one of the most successful organic farming regions in the entire world! In fact Organic Valley / CROPP organic farming coop, located 20 minutes from Viroqua, has grown into a multi-million dollar international company!
Viroqua is great in many ways, colder than cold in winter. Several educational options, but the high school mentioned is not so great, had great ideals when formed but now taken over by right wing demagods who put their own cultish ideals ahead of doing good for the kids. They think they are so cool they don't have a clue how to treat people like decent human beings, are exclusionary and all about "themselves" - NOT a school for open minded people and their kids. A great charter school though and lots of homeschooling options. It is like paradise in the spring, summer and fall but stick to the highlands and the hills cuz the valleys flood - big time. The soil is so fertile, it is awesome for growing just about anything. Strong Amish community that is cool and into sustainability. Interesting things to do, lots of culture for a small town, but a strong midwestern stodginess pervades in the air and the hippie crowd can be a little too elitist and not open so much to newcomers. Driftless Cafe is awesome, great organic co-op and a few organic restaurants. Great farmers market!
Posted by: Angryresident on 2008-02-26 15:29:18
Hi, First of all, don't assume that we all don't want hippies here. We don't have a problem with you until you start pushing your ideals upon us. Isn't the true philosphy of hippy to get along with everyone, not create chaos? You drive down our property values by not upkeeping your homes, allowing noxious weeds to grow in our community and now want to raise disease-carrying poultry and livestock...shouldn't you be in the country? NO, that's right...you can't AFFORD to purchase a home in the country. In fact, you can't afford health insurance for your children, so we pay for that, too! (Badgercare!) Viroqua hippies are elitists that want things their way and that's it! And, as far as the alternatiave high school....thePUBLIC school system pays for it...it's a satellite school sponsored by the public school system. And, having subbed in the room before I can tell you that teh QUALITY of work (other than artwork) that comes from your Waldorf-education system STINKS!!! Your kids don't know how to spell, let alone capitalize or punctuate. GO AWAY HIPPIES!!!! DON'T BE FOOLED....YOU ARE NOT WANTED HERE. IT'S JUST THIS SMALL ELITE GROUP WANTING TO USE YOU TO GET WHAT THEY WANT FROM VIROQUA!!
Posted by: Jason McKee on 2008-03-05 00:24:59
I have found that Viroqua has been very friendly to me as an outsider and it is strange to find such accepting alternative hippy type people in this very unique community. I did not experiance any negative elitist hippies when i was there but i'm sure if they met that last poster theyed be rather scared and standoffish as well with good reason.
Viroqua has good quality sepping from it's very streets and country side, yes they are plagued with flood in the lowlands and Viroqua sits on top of the ridges. I guess I don't know that private school too well but I've been inside it and reserched what the waldorf education system is all about and I kknow that it is a tuition based school.
many people are on badger care because of low income but they still work and Viroqua is a working community. These hippies are all very active working adults with a broad interest in there community. You last poster, why hate? as an organic farmer i feel that anything growing is good, your input is necessary but your strategy is just going to spread anger discontent along the forums. peace to all!
Posted by: cajun123 on 2008-03-08 18:41:50
This is a message for "Angryresident" who posted a comment about how, among a few things, that he disliked that hippies lived in Viroqua, and that he thought that the Waldorf kids don't know how to spell, punctuate, capitalize, and so on. You are entitled to your opinion, but for you to put those kids down for their lack of knowledge on sentence structure, spelling, punctuation etc. is downright hilarious considering your own obvious lack of knowledge in this area. If I were to grade the little paragraph you wrote, you would do very poorly, and there would have been SO many red marks on the paper, you wouldn't be able to see down to the original print. I am not saying that I am perfect at writing, far from it, but NEXT time you put someone down for being a moron, make sure you check your own work to make sure YOU don't look and sound like a moron, as you visciously spew your angry comments!
Posted by: Shiela on 2008-03-22 13:29:10
I just want to remind all reviewer/commentators of 2 things: 1) this site is for reviewing and commentating. Not for airing EMOTIONS and SPELL CHECK. 2) Negative energy is not diminished by responding with negative energy. Good Luck to you Viroquans! I don't think I'm ready to visit your town just yet.
Posted by: True hippy lover on 2009-03-26 23:02:58
Hi, To clarify, I love TRUE hippies...peace loving, caring about their neighbors and wanting to get along with everyone. The "hippies" in Viroqua I have found to be self-centered and arrogant, and out for their own best interest, not caring who or WHAT they ruin in their path of righteousness. I know what the "TRUE" hippies are/were, as my best friend in the 2nd grade was a goat farmer, part of a family that escaped Chicago to dapple for awhile with Mother Earth. They are now back in Chicago, back in the grind. I am a child of the 70s and the residents here are not hippies, they are militant rebels of society. I also sub at the schools, and the kids from Pleasant Ridge (99% of them) cannot write complete sentences, and do not know how to punctuate or capitalize-basic mechanics of the written language. And, I know from personal experience that most are on Badger Care. And, yes, the PUBLIC SCHOOL pays for the alternative high school. I've subbed in that room, too and the kids are LAZY and watch movies, etc., when they should be working for a future. They ruin buildings, ruin values of property, and ruin the small-town qualities that used to fill Viroqua. Viroqua looks like a pit now. What happened to respecting each other, too? They have no respect for their neighbors, or the values of their properties. There are MANY chickens in town that NEED TO GO. 4-H Projects, my @$%! You have them for the free eggs, and we all know it...or to sell them. AND, MANY, MANY families who were misled about how GREAT the Waldorf School is here, end up moving away or having their kids transferred to the public school system. And, when they transfer in, they are severely behind in academics. I respect the "organics", but the "hippies of Viroqua" need to go. Their parents never taught them how to grow up and be responsible citizens in our world.
Posted by: Harald Vaugenhoff on 2010-06-06 02:24:25
I used to like visiting Viroqua now it is over run by hippies, it is as if they are zombies, hippies zombies that can explain why everyone I see there is a Hippie I better leave before they kill me and I become a hippie!
Posted by: Vicki on 2010-10-19 15:48:54
A friend of mine brought me to this page because of the posting by "True Hippy Lover." You see, I also had a close friend in my elementary school years who would be considered a "hippy". Her family also moved to rural WI from the Chicago area and had a farm with goats, which was not that out of ordinary for the 1970s. During that time, goat dairy products were just making their way into WI. My time spent with my friend and her family wil be something I will treasure forever. They also moved back to the Chicago area, but my friend ended up going college near her WI home, and her parents still frequent the area.
While "True Hippy Lover" seems extremely angry in his comments, I do believe there is some truth to his rudely-stated words.
I do feel that there does seem to be some disrespect to existing neighbors who have owned homes in neighborhoods for 35 years or more, when the new neighbors move in and do not keep their yards mowed, etc. Whether those who want to plant vegetable gardens on the boulevard will believe it or not, it does bring down the value of your property and makes it hard to sell if it is next to a property that looks a certain way. Now, this goes the same for ANY person that chooses to maintain his property is such a manner, whether it be with weeds or old cars, etc.
And, I also have subbed in the public school in Viroqua. I have found the students who have attended the alternative schools to be nothing but polite, bright individuals. Yet, I do see some that may struggle to "catch up" when transitioning in. However, one must ask if this is because of the previous schooling they've had or is it a learning issue with that individual....many students from the public school system also struggle.
It's all a matter of respect. Respect each other. Respect the laws of the community you move into, including ordinances. Respect your neighbors, and talk to each other. You're probably not that different if you give each other a chance.
Posted by: Jason McKee on 2011-08-02 06:01:15
Hey U guys didn't realize this thread was still going, wanted to say sorry for the bad spelling, I must have been tired. Anyhow Lacrosse which is nearby is really Hip too!
Posted by: GaiaRiot on 2012-01-08 03:12:16
I love Viroqua. It's a very good town, and my family plans on moving there within the next few years. We are working with other "hippies" in that area in order to begin an "intentional community" (I'm not a fan of that title, though).
I'm sorry to hear people calling the "hippies" "elitists". Perhaps they like to spread their own knowledge, as I do. I wouldn't call that elitist, though. We don't tell people what to do or how to do it, but we do like to converse and speak our minds.
As for the alternative school, I know someone who taught there and she did say the kids were just as bad as the kids in the public school, but she was teaching high school kids.
But there's also a Montessori school and you can always choose to homeschool or Unschool, which is what I will be doing.
My two midwives are based in Viroqua/Westby area. They are awesome women and deserve the utmost respect. Denise Doerr owns a birthing center in Westby where I gave birth to my son.
As for the BadgerCare comment: I seriously have no idea why people complain about helping others out. I'm not religious, but to those who are: if Jesus actually existed, he helped those who were needy/poor.
If you're going to bitch about welfare programs bitch about Corporate Welfare because more of our tax money goes to Corporations than it does to those individuals/families in need. Do your research, please.
And to all of you wonderful people in Viroqua: I love your city, and I can't wait to be a part of it!