From bluffs to bridges, the La Crosse Region is brimming with adventure! Nestled between ancient bluffs and along the Mississippi River, the area offers exciting flavors, charming history, captivating views, and unparalleled outdoor recreation suitable for all ages. Hike or mountain-bike over 100 miles of trails along the bluffs and waterways. Paddle the many waterways by kayak, canoe and standup paddleboard, and explore the area with your favorite entourage. Don’t forget the fishing opportunities, either!
The La Crosse Region is nestled in the Driftless Region—a unique part of the world with unparalleled views and ancient, distinct topography. “Drift” refers to glacial drift: the rock and sediment deposited by a glacier as it moves over an area of land. A small piece of the Upper Mississippi Region was left untouched during the last Ice Age, leaving no glacial erosion or deposits. While surrounding landscapes were flattened by glaciers, the Driftless Region remains with the original, rugged terrain of the Upper Midwest. This makes the La Crosse Region special, located where the Mississippi River and Driftless Region collide, beside the Great River Road.
The Great River Road is both a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road that traverses through 10 states along the Mississippi River. The La Crosse Region and our famous, Driftless bluffs proudly sit on the route. The area welcomes the many visitors the scenic drive brings every year. After cruising the Great River Road into the La Crosse Region, Grandad Bluff is a must-see.
The bluff itself sits 600 feet high and overlooks the city of La Crosse, the Mississippi River Valley, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. It’s been voted as “the most scenic view in the state” by Wisconsin Trails readers and should definitely make everyone’s bucket list!
Great River Landing is also a favorite landmark along the Great River Road. It is host to the Great River State Trailhead, known for its 101 miles of interconnecting state trails. With a beautiful visitor center and views of Lake Onalaska and the Black River, this stop is sure to be a crowd favorite. A short drive along the Great River Road from Great River Landing sits the Sunny the Sunfish statue, which is a perfect overlook and photo opportunity for your entourage.
No matter your niche, summer adventures are calling and are just a road trip away. Celebrate the season where fun knows no bounds—the La Crosse Region awaits!