Wisconsin Great River Road
Up for a road trip? Enjoy beautiful scenery, access to excellent hiking, fishing, and boating, rugged bluffs, and of course the picturesque Mississippi River along the Wisconsin Great River Road. U.S. Highway 35 covers 250 miles in the state of Wisconsin, from Prescott in the north to Kieler in the south. Over two-thirds of that distance traverses protected land, offering myriad birdwatching and other outdoor opportunities. And 33 charming river towns dot the landscape along the highway providing convenient stopping points to find hospitality, farmer’s markets, wineries & breweries, and more. Visit http://wigrr.com for more information, including downloadable maps, an audio tour, event calendars, and more.
The WI Department of Transportation has a fantastic biking map of the Great River Road where the road is color-coded by biking conditions.
This 100-mile loop goes north from La Crosse to quaint Buffalo City, WI, retraces its path back south to Highway 54, where you cross the Mississippi into Winona, MN, then heads south on Highway 61, along Minnesota’s side of the river. Re-cross the Mississippi in La Crescent and head directly back into downtown La Crosse. There’s plenty to see and do along the way, as the Great River Road takes you past Perrot State Park and Elmaro Vineyard near Trempeleau, Kinstone Megalithic Gardens, and Seven Hawks Vineyards in Fountain City, and numerous access points to the La Crosse River State Trail and Great River State Trail.
This 132-mile loop explores the Great River Road to the south of La Crosse. Head down 35 enjoying majestic views as the highway climbs and winds it’s way through the 600-foot bluffs hugging the river. Enjoy a historic and beautiful Prairie du Chien, just 60 miles south of La Crosse, and the 2nd-oldest community in Wisconsin. Don’t miss the Prairie Dog Blues Festival in late July, or the Mississippi Mud Run in September. When you’re ready to continue your adventure, cross the Mississippi on Highway 18 into Iowa. For a short and completely worthwhile detour, head south on Highway 76 for a few miles into McGregor, IA, where the streets are lined with an authentic boardwalk and 19th-century buildings. Then head north along the river up into Minnesota and cross back into Wisconsin from La Crescent, MN.