Enlightenment and entertainment abound at Paradise Springs. Enlightenment ensues from meditation and observation. Entertainment includes:
- Catch-and-release fishing;
Paradise Springs generally draws visitors in smaller-sized groups and over more spaced intervals than other Wisconsin state-designated attractions. It is ideal for visitors who set their own leisurely unimpeded pace along trails, signs, and sights. But it also makes allowances – without fear of traffic jams -- for the energetic spontaneity of children.
The visit begins with a right turn eastwards from the parking lot. Pedestrian, stroller and wheelchair traffic follow a paved, slightly inclining path towards a looped interpretive trail. On the right side, southwards, is a shelter with picnic benches and tables. A slab in the ground preserves the remains of the former resort’s shuttle board and tennis courts. It takes just minutes to amble from there to access drinking water and no-fuss restrooms.
Unstructured fun in the outdoors dominates the trail’s incoming, southern segment. The section offers glimpses of the natural succession in an area transitioning through:
- Semi non-development.
- Birds and butterflies will number amongst the most common wildlife sightings.
Culture, history and nature can be appreciated along the trail’s outgoing, northern segment. In terms of buildings, the spring house gives an idea of the unique beauty of Paradise Springs as:
- Busy bottling plant;
- Luxury spa;
- Resort hotel.
The spring house’s fieldstone walls have an inherent grandeur despite a roof without its octagonal copper dome and windows without their glass. They still protect the area’s spring, whose flow reaches an hourly rate of 30,000 gallons and whose temperature remains at 47 °Fahrenheit (8.33° Celsius).
On the other side of the trout pond, along its western rim, a turbine can be seen. It functions as a reminder of the L.D. Nichols family presence at Paradise Springs. It generated the power which made the Nichols residence the first area home to convert from kerosene to electric lighting. Electricity is a convenience which the Nichols family easily afforded what with operating successful fishing and menagerie businesses.
The trout pond can be accessed by a fishing pier. But the trout cannot be caught with live bait. Likewise, the trout cannot be removed and indeed must be returned to the water.
West of the pond and the turbine the following attractions beckon:
- Frog wading pool;
- Minnehaha Spring;
- Paradise Creek.
The water in the pool is so clean and clear that froggy activities are a delight to hear and observe. Equally delightful is the sight of butterflies, damselflies, and dragonflies during clement weather and of songbirds year-round.
The tour of human-made and natural features is complete. The trail leads to the parking lot. Visitors leave by the abbreviated stretch of road which serves as entrance to and exit from Paradise Springs. On its incoming, southern flank, the road skims where once stood the resort’s horse track.