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“Ninteenth year, and 3 generations!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Woodside Ranch Resort

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Woodside Ranch Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Bartlett, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Ninteenth year, and 3 generations!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2013

My family and I just spent the most amazing weekend at Woodside Ranch. We have been going in October for 19 years, and have never once been disappointed. This year was no exception.
My granddaughters are so comfortable down at the barn that we are hard pressed to get them to leave. The wranglers are so good to them, and have taught them a real respect for the horses. I can not say enough about Brian and Maryann. We have so much fun with Maryann, and Brian always sees to it that the guests are safe, and happy.
The food at Woodside is all home cooked, and served family style. The breakfast ride is the bet part of the day, and the food amazing.
Customer service is better than ever at the ranch. Morgan will go out of her way to make your stay comfortable.
All and all, I can recommend Woodside Ranch to families that want to spend some quality time enjoying nature, a comfortable bed, good food, and horseback riding in a beautiful setting.

Room Tip: The cabins are great for families that all want to stay together, but the bunkhouse is roomy, comfor...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Barb K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    40
    16
    3
    2
    4
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45
9
Solo
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2013

I would love to write a four-star review of Woodside, as my family has been coming here for four generations, starting with my grandmother in the 1940s or 50s. My family spent this past weekend there for the first time in several years and had a lovely first day. However, an entirely preventable trauma occurred on our second morning at the ranch as we prepared to set off on the breakfast ride. The horses’ saddles were not properly secured.

We were instructed to mount our horses in the usual place. When my father attempted to mount his horse, his saddle slipped sideways off the horse’s back, causing him to fall onto his side. My mother called to him, received no response, called for help, saw no employees around to help, and proceeded to dismount. Her saddle also slipped off as she dismounted, causing her to fall directly on one knee. My mother will require surgery and we do not yet know about my father. Although their injuries are serious, I am thankful for so many things - that their falls occurred while their horses were stationary, that their horses did not kick them when they fell, that we were not trotting through the forest at the time.

It is amazing to us as experienced horse riders that some employee(s) did not do something so simple to basic safety as secure the saddles. Whether it was due to management’s lack of training, an employee's lack of skills, or some other factor, I do not know, but their negligence could have led to one or both of my parents’ death or paralysis.

I have been leaving messages for management for two days now and have received no response.

If the other two guests who were there at the time read this, please contact me so that I can take your statements as witnesses. I only know your first names, Ralph and Joyce.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
16 Thank Wanderlust368
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

A friend and I went to Woodside for 5 days. We had so much fun and took advantage of the 6 trail rides offered each day. The Wranglers are outstanding! The horses love people and to be petted. There are activities each day and night. We participated I'm the evening activities. It's our third time there and we will go back. Breakfast ride daily, best pancakes ever!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Horsecrazygir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oswego
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

Another fun family vacation. This was our 3rd year at Woodside and booked year four before we left. Staff friendly as always, thanks Brian, Maryann and Adam for a great job you do with the horses.
The first morning I woke up to no hot water in our cabin shower. I let the staff know and they had it fixed just after lunch.
New bed frames in our cabin this year that they are making out of old trees from the property. I was told that they are hoping to have beds and bunk beds for all the cabins done by next spring.
A few things that need updating are the bedding, blankets,sheets, pillows and spreads.

This year I was sad to see that Vince the chef was gone. The new chef has kept a few of chef Vince items on the menu but has gone to cold sandwiches and salad at lunch instead of the hot lunches we use to get. A few days at lunch we seemed to have been served leftovers from a few days earlier pulled pork. Desserts didn't have much taste and were disappointing. But the chicken he made was great.
I am sure that the staff will be working hard this winter to make corrections and upgrades.
See you all next Year.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deannaoswego39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

Highly reco this experience nice all in one price. Pool. Indoor basket ball court. Movie night my kids liked watching with the others visiting our week. Book a cabin. Set times to eat. Good food. If you need something special for diet they will make it. Horses are very good. Many sizes. We rode different trails each time. We never really rode a horse until this year. Now the family is comfortable with riding trail rides. Great people work here to make your visit a good memory.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marko4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brookfield
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

We visit Woodside Ranch a couple times each year. The ranch always feels like we are visiting relatives when we return. Everyone from the wranglers, to the kitchen staff, office and activities employees ensure we are well taken care of and have a great time. Most of the guests are repeat visitors and we often see familiar folks.

We love horseback riding and go on all six rides every day we are there. The wonderful part of horseback riding at Woodside is that you get to choose the horse you want to ride. We each have our favorites and ride them every time we come. The woods are spectacular, with a nice variety of hardwoods, pine and fields.

The accommodations at Woodside are rustic, which is all part of the charm. We are here to get away from civilization. There is nothing like a nice fire in the cabin (unlimited wood is supplied) on a chilly evening. Activities are numerous and include tennis, basketball, archery, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hayrides, smores, bingo, icecream making, dances, karaoke, swimming, biliards, pingpong, hiking, and of course lots of horseback riding.

Halloween at Woodside is especially fun. We have come every year for the past eight years! Activities include a haunted barn, hayrides, pumpkins to carve, costume contest and cabin decorating. In the winter, you can still horseback ride and they add sledding and cross country skiing. Summers are glorious, with a heated pool and fun at Lake Woodside. The breakfast rides are a highlight with the most delicious pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs prepared to order cooked over a wood fire.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2013

You know when you go on vacation and there is one guest that seems to get on everyone (staff and guests) nerves?? That is the last reviewer. Obviously she thought she was booking at a high level resort and not a horse ranch:

Now for our opinion:

We are a family of four, with two kids, aged 6 and 8 and travelled with my mother. We stayed for 7 days, which in the long run we determined might have been a bit long, but we found our trip not only worth every penny, but an experience that we will cherish forever.

Besides the nature, horses, etc, I would have to say that the most pleasant part of our trip was the STAFF. What a great group of people that not only did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable, but ended up being friends that we hope to keep in touch with for years to come. The minute we checked in, we knew that this was going to be a hospitable place!!

Brian has run the horse part of the ranch for years and was knowledgable, kind and attentitive to our needs. The ranch hands (that take you out for your rides and teach you about the horses) were very nice and helpful. Morgan, Jeremiah, Chelsea, both Stephanies (including Smiley:), Kelly, Andy, to just name a few were kid favorites.

The activities girls, Chantel and Briana made sure our kids, as well as the adults, had a great time.

The chefs, wow, what can I say. They worked very hard, tried to accomodate every request and the chefs at the breakfast each morning busted their tails to cook a breakfast I had a hard time believing was cooked on a wood fired griddle. The dinner chef was such a nice guy and asked my mom, who had a physical ailment on our trip, how she was everytime he saw her.

Nicole, the bartender, was an awesome kid!! Most of the staff seem to be college kids that love working there and it shows in their relationships with the guests.

This is not a four star resort. It is a horse ranch. There for after reading the reviews, I knew the food would be basic downhome cooking, the accomodations would be cabins and a step above sleeping in tents. We stayed in the lakehouse, which was recently remodeled and were quite comfortable. I guess we were lucky b/c we brought our own shampoo, but if we hadn't we would have just driven down to the local CVS and bought some.

We loved the food. The fried chicken and fish fry were awesome. The cookouts basic, with burgers, dogs, saugage, etc., but always had plentyful condiments and sides. Lunches were always served with a salad bar, and when they had items that were not exactly kid faves (tuna melt, reuben, etc), they always had other options for the kids such as grilled cheese, etc and would make anything on the fly if the kids were particularly picky. Lasagna, awesome!! But the best part was the breakfasts. I hate mornings, but found that once I had gotten on my horse, road through the beautiful trails and ended up with a breakfast every morning with fresh juice, coffee and the works: toast, pancakes, french toast, potatoes, cheesy potatoes, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and eggs made to order, I was the happiest guy in the world.

We were there for 7 days with two young children and they never missed a TV once. Whether it was afternoons by the pool, tennis, archery, game room, full basketball court for bball, kick ball, feeding the farm animals, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, they were never bored. It was a refreshing break from technology, phones, etc.

Sure, there were some things I would suggest they work on: Some of the bedspreads seemed pretty old, with holes (probably from moths), nicer bath towels (very rough) but we went into it expecting it be more of a camping, outdoor experience. Our six year old was given the appropriate lessons so that he could ride whenever he wanted.

Don't go if you are expecting an adult only trip with loads of amenities. Go if you want to be on a farm with lots of animals, meet fun people (we will be lifelong friends with two of the families that we met) eat dinner family style, and get away from civilization for a while.

Almost everyone that was there when we were booked immediately for last year.

Thanks to all!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Woodside Ranch Resort

Property: Woodside Ranch Resort
Address: State Highway 82, Mauston, WI 53948
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Mauston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mauston
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Woodside Ranch invites you to experience the ultimate family vacation in legendary western hospitality. Located close to the famous Wisconsin Dells, among the pristine woodlands of Mauston, Wisconsin, come enjoy our Horseback Riding on over 1400 acres of trails. From beginners to experts, Woodside Ranch offers something for everyone, from old-fashioned covered wagon rides, pulled by our Majestic Percherons, to the famous Woodside Breakfast Ride, beautiful heated pool, private stocked lake, a modern fitness facility and fun daily activities, if horseback riding is not your saddle. Experience Chef Jaaffar's Down Home Fixins and of course- Uncle Z's Famous Fried Chicken! We promise you won't leave hungry! We offer Cozy Log Cabins, Ranch House Rooms, or the newly remodeled Lake House to accommodate large-kin families and/or groups of any size. Here at Woodside Ranch, we're happy to customize your vacation as active or relaxed as you choose to be!Come, Discover a Wisconsin Legend - 100 years in the Making!!!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Woodside Ranch Hotel Mauston

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