Though Ted Davis sits in the back of a green New Standard Model D-25 biplane, he won't be taking a nap. Originally built in 1929 to perform stunts and give rides—or barnstorming, as it was known—the D-25 can host up to five people on every flight—four passengers in the front and Davis, a certified commercial pilot, at the rear controls. Today, its hunter-green fuselage has been fully restored and carefully maintained to comply with modern FAA standards. In this steed, Davis, who has logged more than 5,500 flying hours since his first ascent at age 16, continues the barnstorming tradition, escorting passengers on bird's-eye views of the Wisconsin landscape as Icarus struggles to keep pace with his homemade penguin wings.
A player waits silently behind a tree, holding his breath as a group of enemies comes into view. Slowly, his finger moves to the trigger of a paintball marker. He pauses momentarily, then steps from his hiding place to paint the sky in acrylic salvos.
Wyldside Paintball's fields use the area's natural terrain to set a stage for friendly battles. Sporting different names such as Outback and Pines Field, the simulated battlegrounds surround teams in dense forests, felled trees, and man-made walls. Outside the forest, colorful ammo soars over more open landscapes at an Xball field. Wyldside Paintball also employs a legion of referees to ensure safety, fair play, and the absence of performance-enhancing Trojan horses.
Along with his dogs Hazel and Gus, Wisconsin Adventures LLC's owner Rodrigo Camacho leads hunting groups in search of quail, pheasants, grouse, and other upland birds. Their quests take them across south-central Wisconsin's scenic countryside, which is a mixture of sprawling cropland, open fields, and densely wooded terrain. Because most hunts take place on privately owned farms, they don't require licenses or permits, which allows Mr. Camacho to accommodate everyone from first-timers to reincarnations of Davy Crockett. Mr. Camacho can also set up clay-shooting targets and train dogs in the arts of pointing and flushing.
Trails wind through 95 acres of prairies, wetlands, and woodlands at Aldo Leopold Nature Center, stitching the disparate environs into a hikeable network ripe for exploration. Through the educational programs and interactive exhibits, the naturalists and volunteers that run the center equip members with the knowledge necessary to fully commune with the land and its inhabitants. Exploration guides chart preset courses through the park, and the center's exhibits break down natural phenomena such as how tadpoles grow into frogs or how frogs grow into turtles. As a reward for supporting the nature center through their annual contributions, members also gain access to special programs and events such as the Fall Fest and the Maple Syrup Fest.