MAGIC ON A GRAND SCALE
From the Empire Prairie to the Mighty Mississippi, Wisconsin’s 100-mile Scenic Byway 60 follows the graceful curves of the Lower Wisconsin River. This patch of our planet sparkles, by sunny day or starry night, with the wild beauty of Nature left to its own devices for thousands and thousands of years. And nowhere is Heraclitus’s adage that you can’t step into the same river twice more apt. In constant flux, the “River of a Thousand Isles” continuously sculpts its sandbars, shifts its channels, varies its flows, and repaints its colors according to the whims of the weather gods.
Here golden bluffs crop out of emerald hills and valleys that roll into rushing streams to the lively river. These waters beckon fishers, canoers, kayakers, and boaters. Here birdwatchers and botanists can go bananas while, chances are, an eagle is watching them.
As transcendent as the ancient Driftless area landscape itself is the history encoded in its formations. Hundreds of effigy mound earthworks, still alive to the touch, stand today as spiritual gifts and messages from those who peopled this land in the deep past.
The more recent settlements on the Byway route from Lodi to Prairie du Chien have tried to complement rather than conflict with the pristine qualities of Driftless Nature. Each has its own enticing history and contemporary flavor. They offer a rich range of camping, lodging, dining, outdoor and indoor recreation, archeological pursuits, and other learning options. They welcome both the seriously energetic and those who seek some serious relaxation. They invite families to experience together this special place, the magic of which has inspired a local goal: No Child Left Inside.
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