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Trempealeau Trails Snowmobile Tour
Trempealeau. Sure it's hard to pronounce, but it,s also hard to find a day-long tour in southern Wisconsin that stays entirely in one county. Trempealeau County (pronounced Tremp -ah-low) is just such a place. In fact, this tour uses all but about 40 miles of the county's 157-mile snowmobile trail system. If you take the tour, two things are certain: you'll get to see a lot of the fabulous "God's Country" scenery Trempealeau County is famous for, and you'll visit just about every town and valley in the county. At the southern end of this tour, the Great River State Trail offers easy access to Onalaska and the La Crosse County trail system. At the north end, the Buffalo River State Trail is an express route to the trails of Buffalo and Pepin counties.At the tour's southern jumping-off point, there are several blocks of historic buildings that look as they did when paddle-wheel steamboats plied the river. A devastating fire in 1888 destroyed most of the city's wooden waterfront buildings. As a result, Main Street was reconstructed in the sturdy brick buildings that survive today.Two Corridor Trails run up and down each side of Trempealeau County; #29 to the east and #31 to the west. Between them, they make up virtually all the miles you'll ride on this tour.From Trempealeau, head northeast on Corridor Trail #29 to Galesville, a comfortable little town with many lovely Victorian homes. A 19th Century preacher and author, the Reverend Van Slyke, once postulated that the beautiful valley surrounding Galesville was the very site of the Biblical Garden of Eden. The area's bountiful apple orchards and bluff-loving snake population were offered as proof. The argument failed to sway many, but the "God's Country" description Van Slyke wrote about stuck.From Galesville, Corridor Trail #29 follows Beaver and Bear Creeks to the quiet community of Ettrick and beyond. Before reaching Blair you'll gain some altitude by scaling Lone Star Ridge. At Blair you head northwest into the valley of the meandering Trempealeau River to Whitehall. Here, you can cut the tour short, or continue north along the Pigeon River to Pigeon Falls. There the flat river bottom riding ends for a while as you roll north over ridge and valley to Osseo, home of the Norske Nook - pie lover's paradise. Each winter the town knocks itself out for the Christmas season by decorating Central Park with more than 35,000 lights.Heading west on the Buffalo River State Trail (Corridor Trail #22), you pick-up Corridor Trail #31 just before Strum. You're back on the roller coaster again as you ride from river bottom farmland, through steep wooded valley sides, to ridge top farm country. Along the way you'll love the crossroads community of Pleasantville, a great town-sign photo opportunity. Soon, you'll pass within a couple of miles of Whitehall for the second time.It's back to valley riding along the Trempealeau River again as Corridor Trail # 31 takes you south to Independence and Arcadia. Just a bit off-route in Arcadia's Memorial Park you can visit Soldiers Walk, an impressive collection of monuments commemorating veterans from each of our nation's conflicts.South of Arcadia you climb a high ridge known as Skyline Drive for an incredible overview before dropping into the valley of Tamarack Creek. As the valley broadens approaching the Mississippi at Centerville, you'll see the beautiful silhouettes of the 500-foot high bluffs at Trempealeau State Park, including Trempealeau Mountain on the right. The mountain is unique; it's the only mountain island in the entire 2,470-mile length of the Mississippi.In 1685 the landmark was a natural spot for French explorer Nicholas Perrot to build his trading post.