Take a Fall Drive on Wisconsin’s Great River Road

Wisconsin’s Great River Road has long been a favorite of motorcyclists, photographers, and road trippers alike. The entire trail extends 3,000 miles along the Mississippi River through 10 states. Here in Wisconsin it is part of Highway 35 and passes through 33 of the state’s most historic and interesting towns. This scenic byway is especially gorgeous in autumn, when the hills and valleys are painted with Wisconsin’s beautiful fall colors.

Thinking about hitting the road? Below is a list of some of our favorite stops along the way:

Parks and Trails

Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park | Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller

Wyalusing State Park in Bagley covers 2,700 acres and overlooks the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. It’s a perfect spot for bird watching and snapping photos of the changing leaves. If you’d like to extend your stay, bring a tent and a canoe to do some camping and explore the canoe trail.

The Great River Road North Bicycle Tour is a challenge that’s more than worth the reward. When riding east on the trail between Bay City and Maiden Rock, cyclers will climb a road that rises 450 feet in 2.5 miles. If you aren’t already out of breath when you reach the top, the breathtaking view of Lake Pepin will do the trick.

Geocaching is a fun way to explore the hidden gems along the road. There are dozens of caches hidden up and down the scenic byway that will take you to hidden historic places, gorgeous overlooks, and tucked-away trails.

Dining and Drinks

Potosi Brewery Co. is so much more than a brewery. It’s a home to the National Brewery Museum, the Great River Road Interpretive Center, the Potosi Brewing Co. Transportation Museum, a gift shop, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, and of course, a microbrewery. And because of all that, it’s truly a historical destination.

Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery is one of the founding members of the Great River Road Wine Trail. It’s also the perfect place to stop and enjoy a refreshing hard cider made from Wisconsin apples and take in the scenery.

Bogus Creek Café & Bakery in Stockholm is a quaint place to dine on grilled salmon cakes, Swedish pastries and homemade soups on a beautiful garden deck. The scent of fine artisan breads is sure to tease your taste buds!

Lodging & Accommodations

Journey Inn in Maiden Rock is a certified Travel Green bed and breakfast located on a beautiful 66 acres. Here you’ll find a learning center, natural spa, a meditation labyrinth, and local and organic food.

A Cottage in Stockholm offers a storybook setting nestled into the lush Mississippi bluffs. Wake up to a view overlooking Lake Pepin and go for a stroll to the local art galleries, scenic gardens, craft stores and antique shops.

The Historic Trempealeau Hotel offers diverse and delightful lodging options for every taste. Step into the past and slumber in a cozy European style room, live the high life in a luxury suite, stay in the Pines Cottages, or keep it simple in the motel-style Kingfisher rooms just off the beach.

Each time you drive The Great River Road, you’re sure to discover a new favorite place. Be sure to tell us about it in a comment below!

This entry was posted in Entertainment and Attractions, Restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, Cabins & Cottages, Hotels & Motels, Breweries, Wineries, Camping, State Parks & Forests and tagged Accomodations, Attractions, Discovery, Outdoor Fun, Biking, Exploring, Family Fun, Fishing, Food / Drink, History / Heritage, Nature, State Parks, Tours & Trails, Travel Wisconsin, Travel Green, Fall, Hiking / Running / Walking