Laura Ingalls Wilder Birthplace
Nestled in the hills along the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers, Pepin features fabulous scenery and a wide variety of year 'round recreational and leisure time activities. The steep hills and deep valleys have a quiet, wild beauty that has inspired artists and writers for more than a century, including Mark Twain and William Cullen Bryant, a late 19th century visitor, who wrote, Lake Pepin ... "ought to be visited in the summer by every poet and painter in the land."
The furbearing animals that first attracted the French settlers remain abundant throughout Pepin County. More than 50,000 acres of public hunting lands are available within fifteen miles of Durand, the county seat. Remote river bottoms, rugged bluffs and hillsides present a tough challenge to the most experienced hunter. For deer and duck, this area is among the state's best; turkey and grouse are plentiful. Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, muskrat, beaver, and fox are also abundant. Even black bear can be found here.
Fish are also abundant in the Pepin area. The fast-moving Chippewa River, and the quiet, but deep, Lake Pepin are habitat to more than a dozen species of' large and small game fish including northern pike, walleye, small and large mouth bass, panfish, trout, and catfish. Outdoor opportunities include cycling the rolling hills, forests and prairies, hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and skiing through fairytale gorges, across open prairies, along rushing streams under leafy canopies, through magnificent hardwood forests, and around towering bluffs.
Pepin is the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the setting for "Little House In The Big Woods", the first of her internationally acclaimed chronicles of growing up in young America. Pepin remembers its most famous daughter with a reconstruction of the log house Charles "Pa" Ingalls built here in 1863 and where Laura was born in 1867. Her life is remembered also at the Pepin Historical Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum; and at annual "Laura Ingalls Wilder Days" festivals where "Little House" fans from around the world gather on the third full weekend in September to visit her birthplace and share their enjoyment of her work.