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         The rest area at Sparta is what you might call, well - spartan. This is an old area left pretty much in its original state from 1969, and not upgraded during the great period of highway construction. As such, it is a pretty interesting subject for photography, being a bit of a time capsule, and historic in a sense. At one time, this is how most rest stops were set up.
        I recall these areas well from road trips during my childhood. The restrooms are fully enclosed, but there really is no interior space in these old style rest stops. The waysides, serving many of the state highways or less well traveled areas, greatly resemble these old style rest areas.


  • West of Sparta, Monroe County.

  • Mile marker 21 westbound
  • GPS coordinates: N 43 54.642' W 90 52.352'



  • 42 car and 16 truck parking stalls
  • Men's and women's restrooms
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Diaper changing facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Vending machines
  • Travel information shelter
  • Telephones
  • Picnic area and tables
  • Pet exercise area
  • Recycling areas


  • Rest area opened in 1969.
  • "Original" style building.
  • Short scenic trail.
  • "Coulee Country" Historical Marker located on site.


        Like most Wisconsin area rest stops, trucks and cars have their own parking areas. The truck area is in the back, and offers a bit more privacy than the automobile areas at the front.


         Though the pavilion is relatively small, the Sparta rest area has a fairly large area of grounds, including picnic areas and a hiking trail.