█ Getting to Know Cross Plains
Many central Wisconsin residents are familiar with Cross Plains as part of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. But how much do you really know about this little village of 4,200 residents? Here’s a glimpse into what the city is all about.
Cross Plains, also known as the “Gateway to the Driftless Area,” was named by early settler Barry Haney. Born and raised in Cross Plains, Tennessee, Haney considered this a perfect way to bring a little of his hometown with him. Townspeople were good, solid no frills folks even back then. In fact, one of the first buildings, erected in 1854, was named simply The Plain Good Building. The village was officially incorporated in 1920.
Today, the population here is split almost evenly between males and females with an overall average age of 38.1. The 171st most populated city in Wisconsin (out of 777 cities), Cross Plains blends its small get-to-know-your-neighbors size nicely with the added amenities of Madison, just under a half hour away. And it’s even closer to its school district partner, Middleton.
As of 2018, the median household income of Cross Plains residents was $81,620. The cost of living index in Cross Plains is 96.3 — very close to the U.S. average of 100.
Median house and condo values come in at $281,960 — up significantly from $143,200 in the year 2000. The mean price in 2017 for all housing units was $300,836. Detached houses were $321,426 and townhouses and duplexes were valued at $213,489. Condos in 3-to-4-unit buildings were a more affordable $165,180, while slightly more expensive ($185,702) in larger 5-or-more-unit buildings. Mobile homes are estimated at a value of $61,194 here. Renting? The median rent in 2017 was $948 in Cross Plains.
Looking for things to do? Enjoy swimming at the Cross Plains pool in the summer months and the Middleton High School Pool all winter long. Cross Plains has its own library, open of course, all year round. There’s an active senior center here. And visitors may enjoy a tour down memory lane in the Cross Plains – Berry Historical Society to learn about the area’s history. Take a trip out to Indian Lake Park for a touch of nature. You can wander the winding trail, let your dog loose in the dog park, rent a motorboat or just enjoy the great outdoors. Hike or bike the Ice Age Trail or have a picnic at Festge County Park. Looking for more excitement? Spend the day at Enchanted Valley Acres, a destination geared to families, with two giant slides, a petting zoo, concessions and seasonal activities ranging from a corn maze to Christmas tree cutting.
Afterward, stop and fuel your appetite at one of the local restaurants or shop at Glacier’s Edge Square Shopping Center.
The first thing you’ll notice as you pass the Cross Plains city limits is a large welcome sign that reads: Welcome to Cross Plains, Famous for Friendliness. And, well, that just about says it all.