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Great River Road - Wisconsin

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Quick Facts
Designation: Great River Road
Designation: National Scenic Byway
Fees: No fees are required to drive the byway.
Length, One-Way: 249 Miles (415.0 Kilometers)
Time: 10 Hours

General Information

Description - Wisconsin's Great River Road flanks the majestic and magnificent Mississippi River as it leisurely winds its way along 250 miles of Wisconsin's western border. Along its way, the road is nestled between the river on one side and towering bluffs on the other, becoming one of the most scenic drives in mid-America. Most of the time the road parallels the river, but when the road does meander a short way from the river, it treats its guests to vistas of rolling farmland as well as beautiful forested valleys and coulees.

Byway Communities
The 33 quaint river towns along this byway proudly reveal their culture and heritage through their festivals and the 19th- and 20th-century architecture of their homes, business blocks, storefronts, mansions, and more. The corridor is rich in history, and the Great River Road traveler can learn about the early Indian occupants, the French fur traders and explorers, the lead mining boom, the steamboat era, and the lumber barons. Travelers can stop at the 30 or more State Historical Markers and Archaeological sites, and also at the many local museums.

Places Along the Way
Recreational opportunities also await the visitor around each bend of the Great River Road at over 50 local parks and beaches, in addition to 12 State and 3 National Recreational Resources. Observation decks at 4 Lock and Dams provide the opportunity to leisurely watch the barges and riverboats pass through. A lucky visitor may even see steamboats like the Delta Queen pass by.

Scenes From the Byway
Travel the Wisconsin Great River Road. It is a marvelous mix of natural beauty and history, and an area to be enjoyed by all ages ... leisurely. In the new-green brilliance of spring or the white mantle of winter, in the summer sunlight or the amber hues of autumn, Wisconsin's Great River Road is a delight in any season!

Attractions - The Great River Road - Wisconsin is known for it's Archeology, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Directions from : The northern gateway of the Wisconsin Great River Road at Prescott is some 30 miles southeast of St. Paul, MN, via U.S. Highways 10 and 61. The southern gateway is near the east end of the U.S. Highway 20 Mississippi River bridge in Dubuque, IA, at the Illinois state line. Interstate 90 intersects the Wisconsin Great River Road at LaCrosse, WI. In addition, there are interstate bridges crossing the Mississippi River at or near the Wisconsin Great River Road communities of Bay City, Nelson, Fountain City, DeSoto, and Prairie du Chien.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Great River Road - Wisconsin
ICON Viewing Scenery Great River Road - Wisconsin

More Information

Additional Information:
Wisconsin Scenic Byways - The Great River Road is Wisconsin's scenic byway listed here. It is a designated National Scenic Byway.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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