AThe Southwest region of Wisconsin is the expansive, unglaciated section of the state, bordered on the west by the majestic Mississippi River. The “Ol’ Miss” attracts many eagles, even in winter, because of the pools of water that stay open for fishing. Travelers can meander down the Great River Road to their heart’s content as they take in the scenic rock-faced bluffs and spectacular views of the river and its islands.
Silent Sports abound everywhere and the granddaddy of all bicycle trails is the Elroy-Sparta Trail. Other bicycle trails are the La Crosse River State Trail, Great River State Trail and the Sugar River Trail. Canoeing the “crookedest” river in North America, the Kickapoo, is a real “kick” for beginners because it’s shallow and gentle with long, smooth bends. For those who prefer more of a challenge, there’s the Wisconsin River, with many levels in between on the Black River, the Trempealeau River, and the backwaters of the Mississippi. In the winter, Candlelight skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and ice fishing work well with the hearty ethnic food the region has to offer.
Wildcat Mountain, Wyalusing Hardwood Forest, Governor Dodge State Park, and many other state parks are plentiful throughout the region so that ambitious adventurers can hike for miles. Cross country ski trails are meticulously groomed for skating and striding on private resorts. For those that love a good small town festival, there are nearly 100 festivals held in this region each year. They range from Syttende Mai in May, to Riverfest, to Jazzfest, to Log Boom, to renaissance, apple and cherry blossom, to cranberry, apple and pumpkin harvest festivals.
The hills and valleys that form coulees will keep you coming back for more adventure as they seem to change as the seasons change. Whatever the reason, whatever the season, traveling through the Southwest region can clear your head and slow you down long enough to appreciate beauty at its finest. Come and visit us; you will surely be delighted!