Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center

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The Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center opened in 1941 as a outdoor learning center that shares pride by educating the youth. "Upham Woods has flourished as an invaluable resource for helping youth develop an appreciation for nature and for themselves..." [1] It is located on 310 acres of forested land that lies right on the Wisconsin River and has been up and running for more than 75 years owned and operated by UW-Extension. Originally it was owned by two sisters with the names Elizabeth and Caroline Upham. Their main goal was that they wanted to preserve their land and keep it from being built on. Elizabeth and Caroline Upham wanted to have their land be kept for learning and to always be kept natural. As wrote by Elizabeth and Caroline: "These lands are to be used as an outdoor laboratory and camp for youth, such as 4-H clubs and other people cooperating with the University of Wisconsin in the advancement of conservation, of agriculture and rural culture." [2] To this day the Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center is ran the way Elizabeth and Caroline wanted. To serve the youth knowledge of the natural environment with hands on technology and resources. Along with the learning comes new and lifelong memories that spark friendships. What a better place than one with beautiful landscape and amazing experiences you will never forget.

Location and Directions

You will find Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center on N194 County Rd N in Wisconsin Dells. It is located in between Highways 12 and 13 and sits right on the Wisconsin River. Near to the center is Blackhawk Island where you can explore the caves and sandstone ledges. They house up to 200 people with included meals and property that is reserved for registered groups only. They have immense hiking trails and host over 9,000 students, scouts, 4-H members, and other youth every year. For directions click on link below https://fyi.uwex.edu/uphamwoods/about-us/map-directions/

Programs and Events

Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center has many opportunities to get out and learn about the environment. They have Family Camp where you and your family can go hiking, canoeing, and also archery to name a few. Along with the Family Camping they of course are open to 4-H and Youth programs which they are most known for. They have residential programs, outreach programs, environmental education, open enrollment summer camp and more. It doesn't end there, they have loads of environmental education and not only for youth. Uphams also has adult classes including: "Wilderness First Aid, Master Naturalist Instructor Training, Projects Wet/Wild/Learning Tree and Early Childhood, Leopold Education Project, digital technology and experiential education programming, and others." [3]

Technology Programs

Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center also offers Digital Observation Technology Skills, abbreviated as DOTS. This program teaches outdoor lessons that include: testing hypotheses, making measurements, collecting photos and videos for evidence and more. DOTS groups will each have to fill certain roles of the group which contains a Navigator, Video Specialist, Meteorologist, Microbiologist, and Thermal Imager. If you would like to learn more about the DOTS program at Uphams click the link below https://fyi.uwex.edu/uphamwoods/programs/residential-programs/technology-programs/ [4]


  1. Justin Hougham, Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center (August 24, 2016), accessed May 3, 2018, [1]
  2. [2] Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center Mission Statement
  3. [3] Uphams Woods Outdoor Learning Center Adult Education
  4. [4] Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center DOTS Technology Programs

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