Cottage Grove is a little village, situated 20 minutes east of downtown Madison. It’s a quiet blend of farmland, wetlands, and rural subdivisions. Family-run businesses dot the village and contribute to a strong sense of community throughout the area. Many of the items found in Madison Farmers markets are grown in Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove’s local farms contribute greatly to Madison’s overall health.  

Cottage Grove History 

Cottage Grove got its name from an early settler’s cottage that was found nestled in a forest near the village. Not much is known about early Cottage Grove History. For this reason, the village does have a dedicated Historical Society. Local volunteers collect, preserve, and share any information found about the history of their beloved town. The crew has uncovered over 10,000 photographs of Cottage Grove throughout the years. These photos have helped piece together the family trees of Cottage-grove’s long-term residents. They are safely stored in the archives room of the library. The preservation society is also currently working on refurbishing Cottage Grove’s first fire station. The Historic Society posts any new findings on their Facebook page. If this is interesting to you, be sure to check it out. 

Cottage Grove Recreation 

Glacial Drumlin State Trail 

This is a 15.6-mile point-to-point trail that will take you from Cottage Grove to Lake Mills. You’ll pass over marshes, through tree tunnels, and amber fields. This trail is flat and a perfect place for joggers, bikers, or even rollerbladers. Wildlife is common in this area! Keep an eye out for egrets and sandhill cranes while you explore.

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McCarthy Youth & Conservation County Park 

In 1974 180 acres of land were donated to the village. All for the noble purpose of having a place where children could learn about nature. At this park, there are campsites, hiking trails, cross country skiing, horseback riding, and prairie/ wetland restoration projects. The Friends of McCarthy Youth & Conservation Park organize youth service days and rec days.

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Governor Taylor Nature Park 

Enjoy a picnic in a shady tree grove, or meander down trails in this small park located in the heart of Cottage Grove. 

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Bakken Park 

Arguably, Bakken Park has the best playground in Madison. There are ball fields and plenty of space to run around. But their crowning glory is the castle-fortress playground. It’s straight out of a fantasy novel.  In the summer, utilize the Bakken Park Splash pad to cool off.  

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Rugby Sports Complex 

Cottage Grove is the hub for Madison Rugby. There are both youth and adult teams, and they all gather on the Wisconsin Rugby Sports Complex fields. Bleachers can seat over 1,500 fans. Ground recently broke on a new development here. An 8,000 square-foot clubhouse that will support teams and fans alike.  

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Community Life

Local Cottage Grove farms and orchards support Madison’s farmer’s markets. Door Creek Orchard grows apples, grapes, pears, and press their cider and honey. They also sheer sheep for their soft fleece wool. Land of O’s produces pickles, jams, jellies, marmalades, eggs, and fresh flowers. The village of Cottage Grove even has its own farmers’ markets. Check here to find out where you can catch them.  

Cottage Grove Schools 

Cottage Grove is part of the Monona Grove School District. Cottage Grove residents are zoned for: 

Annual Events in Cottage Grove

Fireman’s Festival 

Every year (for the past 90 years!) Cottage Grove has thrown the annual Fireman’s Festival in Fireman Park. There are beer tents, live music, baseball games, a parade, and even a bean bag tournament.  

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Music In The Grove 

Bakken Park hosts a family-friendly summer concert series. There is good food, good music, and booths from local vendors. This event takes place from May-August.

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Bloody Mary Fest 

This is a new tradition, but one that has promised to be an annual event. 20-25 local restaurants have signed up for the event. Custom bloody mary recipes, snacks, and music are at each. Take yourself on a bloody mary tour around town for the ultimate Saturday Funday. 

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Best places to eat and drink in Cottage Grove 

1855 Saloon and Grill 

This cozy, pub-style eatery features a fireplace, patio, and constantly evolving menu of new-American cuisine. 

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Oakstone Recreational

Your Cottage Grove go-to for cheese curds and burgers! Locals will pop by on Fridays for their special fish-fry menu. Attached to the restaurant is a volleyball court. They host seasonal leagues. It’s a great place to meet new people. Play a round of volleyball, then celebrate your victory (or console your loss) and the restaurant afterward.

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Doundrinds Distilling 

Cottage Grove is the home base for this famous Distillery. Sip finely crafted liquor and lounge in the casual cocktail garden space. This is a pet-friendly space with abundant lawn chairs and string lights. They’ll even host live music, food trucks, and yoga classes! 

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Homes for sale in Cottage Grove 

Investing in Cottage Grove real estate is a smart move. Homes have appreciated by 5.1% in the past 10 years. The average home price in Cottage Grove is $367,533. Several new home developments are being built in Cottage Grove including the Windsor Avenue Condos and Kennedy Hills. Cottage Grove is also a great option for anyone who dreams about building their own home. Affordable lots and acreage are available in this area. If you have any questions or want to know more about Cottage Grove, shoot us an email!