The Driftless Region is an area that stretches from the Twin Cities down through SE Minnesota, NE Iowa, SW Wisconsin, and NW Illinois. Due to the fact it was untouched by the last glacier, a distinct topography is associated with the area.
Deeply carved river valleys and picturesque bluffs make the perfect setting for motorcycle riding. Couple this with the fact that the terrain requires many winding roads and heaven awaits.
Much of this area is steeped in the history of the settlement of the U.S. Marquette, Joliet, Julien Dubuque, fur traders and lead miners were all here at one time. Stop off in places such as Dubuque, Mineral Point, Shullsburg, Hastings and Marquette to learn more of this area’s history. NOTE: There are many Welcome Centers and Visitors Centers that will provide that extra push to make your ride through the Driftless area enjoyable.
4.) Photo Ops:
3.) Small Town Treasures:
For the avid traveler, the Driftless Region will bring visits to many welcoming small towns. Hunt for the best restaurant, local secrets or just enjoy a bite to eat as you converse with the locals.
For those looking for a cold drink, this area has some great stops to make. The Iron Horse Social Club in Savanna, Il, The Wooden Nickel in Ferryville, WI, The Schellter Bar & Grill in Leland, WI and The General Store in New Diggings, WI are a few to search out.
2.) Cabins and Retreats:
Since the Driftless Region is known for its hunting and fishing, you will find cabins, retreats, small hotels, along with B&B’s that will make you feel at home. Many of these are set back into the surroundings or are coupled with superb views of the Mississippi River. You’ll find everything from The Castle in Sabula, Iowa to the Gypsy’s Paradise in Ferryville, Wisconsin.
1.) Old Man River:
The real treat of the Driftless Region is its proximity to the Mississippi River. One can just feel the history as they cross over the Mighty Mississippi, coupling your trip with those of the early settlers or maybe Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Enjoy the Driftless Area, its many scenic overlooks, its history, and of course, its roads.
Editor's hint: Always include a search for local wineries when planning your day trip in the Driftless Region. She’ll be happy if you do.
Enjoy the ride!
*Photo courtesy of Tura Fisher