Get Ready to Safely Explore Again!
Pssst… The weather is warming and adventure is calling. The La Crosse Region is packed with opportunities to explore safely and responsibly. From recreation and camping to sipping your favorite wine, you can maximize your spring and summer with these 5* activities.
Kayaking Trails | Social Distance: 6-Feet or 1 Kayak Apart
There are few things more peaceful and striking than paddling the waterways of the La Crosse Region. Whether you prefer a moderate excursion or a strenuous adventure, the meandering rivers are a paradise for paddlers. Check ‘em out!
Lake Onalaska Canoe Trail
Follow the Mississippi River backwaters to Lake Onalaska. Starting from Lytle’s Landing, it is a relaxing, four-mile stretch to Fred Funk landing or seven-miles to Mosey’s! Looking for a kayak to rent? Head to Schafer’s River Rentals for great, summer gear rentals. For more information, click here.
La Crosse River
The La Crosse River is a hidden gem to paddle through from West Salem towards Riverside Park in La Crosse. There are six, convenient boat landings located below Lake Neshonoc. If a leisure paddle is your preference, use Holiday Heights and drift past the bluffs and through marshlands.
Goose Island Paddle Route
Just a few miles south of Historic Downtown La Crosse, with 400+ sites, lies Wisconsin’s largest county campground; Goose Island Campground. The ground’s canoe trail offers seven-miles of moderate paddling, totaling approximately four to five hours to complete. Make sure to stretch before you hit the water… half of the trip requires paddling against the current! You can also conveniently rent equipment from Goose Island County Park.
More Rental Opportunities: Pettibone Park Rentals Black River Express Rentals More Paddle Routes
Insta-Worthy Landmarks | Social Distance: 6-Feet or 14 Cameras
Capture your summer vacation memories at stunning and famous landmarks in the La Crosse Region! If you’re looking for some Likes, you’ll find your next content here.
International Friendship Garden
La Crosse enjoys thriving relationships with sister cities, business partners, students and people from around the world. To celebrate the success of these partnerships, and build a tribute to the culture and traditions of our worldwide friends, local volunteers have worked together to create the Riverside International Gardens in Riverside Park. Full of unique flowers and waterfalls, it’s a can’t miss stop.
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is nestled in on over 100 acres in the Mississippi River Valley. In addition to the many beautiful chapels, statues, gardens, and devotional areas, the Shrine offers tours of the destination and has a full-service café and gift shop. Bursting with flowers and stunning architecture, it is full of inspiration for your next social-posts!
Enjoy views of the Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa at Grandad Bluff. It comes as no surprise that Wisconsin Trails readers voted this “the most scenic view in the state”. Standing 600-feet tall, it has become not only a destination point for thousands but also a symbol of this great Region. Make sure to get a selfie overlooking the vast views!
Apple Blossom Scenic Drive
The 17-mile Apple Blossom Scenic Drive winds along the blufftop roads that overlook the Mississippi River and La Crosse and descend into Pine Creek Valley for a return trip back to La Crescent, MN. The route is famous for its remarkable landscape surrounded by apple orchards. Pull over at the many scenic overlooks for landscape photos that will take your breath away.
Biking and Cycling | Social Distance: 6-Feet or 3 Bike Tires
The La Crosse Region is a great place to ride through historic downtowns, along the Mississippi River, through the winding bluffs, and along over 100 miles of trails! Interested? Get rollin’!
Barista’s Epic (46-mi), Super Epic (52-mi), and Monster (55-mi) Coffee Rides
The 46-mile version of this route may be moderate, but the coffee is still Epic. Cross the Mississippi and climb five easy hills as you head out and back along the flat bottom of the Root River valley. The Super Epic 52 and Monster 55 add hills to your morning… And there’s more! The halfway point of the ride is the bicycle-friendly Barista’s Coffee House in Houston, MN.
The Monster Rides (39, 66, 100, 125, or 133-mi)
This is it. We’ve found the real monster climbs of the Driftless Region, and strung as many of them as possible into continuous routes. We call anything with over 300 ft of elevation gain and a maximum grade of 14% or greater a “Driftless Monster.” A couple just squeak in with 14-15% sections, but several hit the 16-18% range.
Hokah Hilly Hundred Gravel Ride (67-mi)
Call it the “Triple H,” a hilly hundred kilometers from Hokah, Minnesota to New Albin, Iowa, and back. It’s got just under 5,000 ft. of climbing over 67.1 mi., with nine gravel sections making up more than 3/4 of the total route.
More of a Mountain Biker? Upper Hixon Trails Grandad Bluff Trails Mathy Quarry Trail
Local Wineries | Social Distance: 6-Feet or 24 Wine Glasses
With a plethora of wineries scattered throughout the La Crosse Region, you’ll be savoring local wines and enjoying safe, scenic vineyard views in no time! There are locations nestled up in the bluffs as well as in the heart of Onalaska, so a tasteful experience is never too far away! Ready to get tasting?
DnA Vintners | La Crosse, WI
DNA Vintners produces primarily fruit wines from local sources with a tasting room located Uptown La Crosse. DNA Vintners was voted #1 Winery – People’s Choice Award at the Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine and Cheese Festival in La Crosse in 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Branches Winery | Westby, WI
Branches Winery is a charming boutique winery. They are known for their award-winning cold climate wines, produced from 10 varieties of grapes, plus other local fruits. They have something for every palate ranging from dry, oaked reds and crisp whites to luscious, sweet, table and dessert wines.
Elmaro Vineyard | Trempealeau, WI
At Elmaro Vineyard, their focus is on producing great wines and providing an unmatched setting in which to enjoy them. The family works together to make sure you have the best experience possible, whether it’s enjoying a glass at the vineyard or in your own home.
Brambleberry Winery | Taylor, WI
Not far from the Great River Road, Brambleberry Winery is located 33 miles north of La Crosse. Open weekends, Brambleberry sources the finest grapes around the world and offers a wide variety of delicious dry reds, crisp whites and their popular “Sweetie” wines.
River View Vineyard & Winery | La Crescent, MN
River View Vineyard and Winery is nestled in the scenic bluffs above the beautiful winding Mississippi River Valley. In 2003, River View Vineyard was started with cold hardy grapes, La Crosse (white), Frontenac (red), and Swenson Red (rose), developed for the Region by Elmore Swenson and the University of Minnesota.
Lost Island Winery | Onalaska, WI
Lost Island Wine & Skeleton Crew Brew is a small family owned winery and craft brewery in Onalaska, Wisconsin. They produce over 40 different flavors of wine and craft brews! You are invited to stop in and taste their creations, as there is truly something for everyone.
Garvin Heights Vineyards | Winona, MN
The winery at Garvin Heights Vineyards is on the scenic bluffs above the Mississippi River city of Winona, MN. They offer a wide selection of grape wines made from 100% local grapes. They also offer fruit and dessert style wines; you’re sure to find several wines that match your taste.
Tenba Ridge Winery | Blair, WI
Tenba Ridge Winery produces Alsatian-style wines in small batches. These big, bold wines are full of flavor and great paired with food or just by themselves. The Winery’s wine terrace overlooks thousands of acres of woods.
Regional Campgrounds | Social Distance: 6-Feet or 2 Campfires
What better way to socially distance and hunker down in the beautiful nature of the La Crosse Region than to stay at one of the local campgrounds! With a variety of options in the Region, most of which are along rivers and waterways, you can soak up the great outdoors in a setting suited for you and your entourage!
Neshonoc Lakeside Camp Resort | West Salem, WI
Vacation at one of Western Wisconsin’s most highly rated and picturesque campgrounds located on beautiful Lake Neshonoc. Neshonoc Lakeside Camp Resort features include immaculate campground facilities, heated pools, kiddie pool, adult spa, large grassy sites, large playgrounds, an ice cream parlor, weekend activities and more.
Pettibone Park Resort | La Crosse, WI
Pettibone Resort is located on the west channel of the Mississippi River, and is the closest campground to La Crosse. The park features 300 camp sites, canoe rentals, showers, laundry, and camp store with small bar.
Veterans Memorial Campground | West Salem, WI
Family camping on the banks of the La Crosse River with shaded grassy sites, directly on State Bike Trail, and easily accessible from I-90. Stay at a quiet, peaceful campground. Veterans Memorial Campground prides themselves on providing a well-groomed, clean, and wholesome atmosphere for camping families.
PineView Campground | Sparta, WI
Reconnect with nature at the family friendly campground located a quarter mile west of Fort McCoy. PineView Campground features 170 campsites, as well as cabins, yurts and travel trailers available for rent by the day or week. Picnic and playground areas, showers, restrooms, camp store, laundry facilities and a LP fill station are provided for campers. Visitors will enjoy swimming, boating and fishing on Suukjak Sep Lake.
*Disclaimer: This listing is not representative of the entire La Crosse Region. For more things to do, explore the website and check out our Blog!