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Thread: Driftless region

  1. #1
    Doug D
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    Jan 2017
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    Driftless region

    Thinking about a trip this summer to the Driftless region in Wisconsin. Looking for a good area to have a base camp, and then some day rides with good scenery, food, and shopping. The area is huge, and all the different routes is overwhelming. Would stay a better part of a week. Any information would be appreciated!
    Doug

  2. #2

    Great Area

    Soldiers Grove has fantastic camping. Centralized to the area, not much of a town but nice people. The Great River Road Rally is held there in May.
    Beemer Bob
    Mqt, MI

  3. #3
    IBA# 5819 61996's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drost View Post
    Thinking about a trip this summer to the Driftless region in Wisconsin. Looking for a good area to have a base camp, and then some day rides with good scenery, food, and shopping. The area is huge, and all the different routes is overwhelming. Would stay a better part of a week. Any information would be appreciated!
    Doug
    I ride in that area frequently.
    I would recommend staying in or around La Crosse. Plenty of motorcycle friendly hotels and restaurants.
    Speaking of restaurants, The Rockton Bar in La Farge is not to be missed; especially for their Sunday Chicken Dinner. Served only on Sunday starting at 1PM and ends when they sell out. They suggest calling the day before to reserve yours.
    Wildcat Mountain/ State Park is one of the highlights of the area. WI 108 aka CR "C" to Mindoro is affectionately called the Wisconsin Dragon. When in Mindoro stop in at Top Dawgs for a burger. They have 108 different kinds. Larry's Lookout in Arcadia is another great stop as is Linda's Bakery in West Salem.
    While you're in the area, don't ignore the "Alphabet Roads". Some of the best roads along the ridges and coulees.

    This website is a good resource: https://driftlessroadadventures.com/

    If you want/need more info or detail, drop me a note.

    Joe
    “Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You cannot withstand the storm.'
    The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drost View Post
    Thinking about a trip this summer to the Driftless region in Wisconsin. Looking for a good area to have a base camp,
    Doug
    Camping or motel?
    Did you see one of our members has info and routes for the Driftless Area?
    Here's his thread. https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...orcycle-Routes
    Here's his website https://driftlessroadadventures.com/

    A few towns we have stayed at when riding the area are Praire du Chien Wi, Marquette Ia, Spring Green Wi and Gelena, Il.

    A few years ago we stopped at the Monarch Public House in Fountain City Wi. It's a good place to eat.
    Irish Bar Fountain City, Wi (1).jpg

    Irish Bar Fountain City, Wi (2).jpg
    Last edited by Lee; 01-27-2020 at 03:45 PM.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5
    My wife and I have done a little riding in that area mostly on the Great River Road. I agree about staying in La Crosse; Prairie du Chien is another option. Pete's Hamburgers in downtown Prairie du Chien is worth a stop as is Breitbach's in Balltown, Iowa. Homemade pie at Breitbach's. If you like a small hike, Effigy Mounds National Monument in NE Iowa is well worth the trek. Good views of the Mississippi River Valley from Effigy Mounds and Breitbach's. The February 2020 issue of Road Runner had a article about the "Midwestern Dragon"; they used Eau Claire as home port.
    "The universe is made of stories. Not of atoms."
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  6. #6
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 217don View Post
    , Effigy Mounds National Monument in NE Iowa is well worth the trek. Good views of the Mississippi River Valley from Effigy Mounds
    I agree, I think they will find the Mounds interesting. https://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm
    Two other overlooks of the River they may like is Pikes Peak State Park south of McGregor Ia and Mt Hosmer Park in Lansing Ia.
    The first switchback up the road to Mt Hosmer Park can surprise you. It's a short road up to the park and only two switchbacks, but that first one can catch you in the wrong gear.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  7. #7
    Doug D
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Will talk to my wife and start to look at routes. We are from Michigan, the northern part along Lake Michigan is hard to beat. Have to expand our horizons.
    Doug

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    There are a lot of great roads in the drift less region. WI has the most, MN, IA and IL have some too. The overlook near Alma WI is great. You need to park and walk about 100 yards. It is worth it. Buna Vista Park. If camping another good place is Wild Cat Mountain State park.
    I can't wait for spring. MN Club has the Hiawatha Rally weekend after Memorial Day. Also in the drift less region.

    Steve

  9. #9
    Registered User bicyclenut's Avatar
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    Our small group of guys plan to ride one of our group trips up there in early June. I've ridden some of the areas in the corner of IL, IA and WI mostly near Illinois before I know it as the Driftless region, for me from Chicago area that corner of the state was about the only hilly area around. Looking forward to exploring the roads up further north into WI as I've only touched on part of this area.

    As another posted, there is a website https://driftlessroadadventures.com/ with information on roads and cheap ($1.99) routes that can be downloaded to your GPS, plus you can get a good overview of some of the roads. From my research so far the Mindoro Cut Route looks to be a pretty exciting ride, if you search for it on YouTube the videos show some pretty curvy and hilly roads to navigate.

    Depending on your route up there, and since you are traveling with your wife, you might consider a stop or overnight in Galena, IL, a town that partially looks like its stuck in the 1800's. Some nice roads leading into and out of the town as well on your way up north.

    I can give you some routes from Chicago area to that region of if you want to stay off the superslab depending on how you are traveling from MI to the area.
    2010 BMW R1200RT
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