FOX 25/48 is celebrating Monroe County this week. As part of our County by County series. We’ll feature important parts of the area and show you what it has to offer. Tonight Fox 25/48’s Erin O’Brien travels to Fort McCoy and explains what’s available for the public to explore.
Welcome to Fort McCoy. It’s a 60,000 acre installation in Sparta. It is the only US Army installation in the state of Wisconsin. Fort McCoy was established more than 100 years ago thanks to General Robert Bruce McCoy.
When he returned from the Spanish American war he had a vision that there’d need to be more training areas in the Midwest. There weren’t any at that time.
Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald says: “Sparta was a good place to train back then. And it still is today, due to the variety of terrain and weather.
We are now a total force training center and we train all branches of the military and it’s not just military like many people think. To include other federal entities that come here to train. But we are a total force training center. That’s what our motto is.
Not everything at Fort McCoy is open to the public, but the commemorative area allows anyone to get an inside look at Fort McCoy’s past and present.
Fort McCoy also houses Pine View Campground, which consists of campsites, hiking trails, a lake, and much more. The staff at Pine View say that hosting a public campground near private training grounds benefits everyone.
JEFF UHLIG: “The idea for us is to provide wellness, resiliency, and recreation for soldiers, families, and their dependents, and their spouses and whatnot. In doing that, having it near the fort is easy access and then having it open to the community it helps build a relationship between the civilian population area and the fort itself.”
Just like the training grounds, the campground is open year-round.