The Scenic Byways Pages of Quilting Pathways
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Great River Road - Winona to Red Wing, Mn

galena, IL
Morning mist on Reick's Lake, along the River Road north of Alma, Wisconsin

Great River Road Scenic Byway - Links to Sections:

- Galena to Prairie Du Chien
- Prairie to LaCrosse to Winona
- Winona to Red Wing (below)

Scenic Byways Directory

Traveling north of Winona, MN on the Great River Road Scenic Byway, we elect to continue traveling the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River Road: Wisconsin State Highway 35. Travelers in a rush to get to Wabasha may opt to stay on the Minnesota side and travel US Highway 61. It is a faster highway, but a little less scenic. From Wabasha to Red Wing, Wisconsin Hwy 35 continues to get our vote for scenery, but it is more of a toss-up. Quilters may prefer the Minnesota side in order to visit the quilt shop in Lake City, Minnesota and we found Minnesota's Frontenac State Park an attractive camping destination with nice hiking trails and scenic vistas.

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Winona, MN to Alma, WI to Wabasha, MN - Great River Road

Crossing the bridge from Winona back to the Wisconsin side of the Great River Road, we continue northwest on Wisconsin Hwy 35. Fountain City is one of several Wisconsin towns along the river road that are squeezed in between high bluffs and the river, producing a village that seems to consist of a two mile long main street and little else.

Alma WisconsinFurther down the road, Alma is another of these ribbon villages sandwiched between bluffs and water. It was a gray, overcast day when we stopped in town, so these pictures don't do it justice. Alma Wisconsin Great River Road

Alma is an attractive little community with a number of artisan, craft and gift shops. The first weekend in September is their annual Music and Arts festival. Visitors will enjoy the river view and eagle-watching from the Wings Over Alma viewing platform. With its elevated view of the river, intersting shops, and unique stairway streets, Alma is an ideal stop to get some walking around exercise. And for a more enthusiastic hike, you can climb the the Buena Vista Hiking trail to a scenic overlook 500' above the Mississippi River (on our itinerary the next time we are in town). You can also drive to the same overlook and enjoy a picnic at Beuna Vista Park.

Rieck's Lake Park, Alma WIA few miles north of Alma is a great overnight camping spot for RV travelers (or traveling tent campers for that matter). Rieck's Lake Park has nice level sites, well spaced, picnic tables, and offers electric hook-ups. Clean, well-maintained, and reasonable price. Also offers wildlife viewing platforms and a nature trail.

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Wabasha, MN

wabasah MN

Near the town of Nelson, Wisconsin take the bridge (hwy 60) across the river to the Minnesota side to visit Wabasha, Minnesota (Here seen in the background in this wintertime scene along Wabasha's river front drive). > > >

Wabasha, MNOn our first visit in the late winter of 2006, we stopped for lunch at the Eagle's Nest Coffee House. There we learned about two of the towns most prominent symbols: Eagles and being the fictional home of the Grumpy Old Men movies, with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. On later visits we got better acquainted with both of these themes and the town's history.

red triangleGo Here for more things to do and see in Wabasha, Minnesota

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The Great River Road from Wabasha to Red Wing, Minnesota

Traveling between Wabasha and Red Wing, Minnesota is a toss-up as to which river road to take, Wisconsin or Minnesota. On the Minnesota side, US 61 is the superior pavement as it is a federal highway designed for interstate traffic. Minnesota's Frontenac State Park is attractive both as a day visit and as a overnight camping destination. Lake City, Minnesota is an attractive riverside community and it hosts a nice quilt shop, Rather-Be-Quilting. On the Wisconsin side, Wisconsin Hwy 35 has a bit more charm and doesn't get the amount of heavy traffic as it's cousin across the river. The towns along the Wisconsin side also get the nod for quaintness. Some interesting restaurants, cafe's, and artisan shops can be found in Pepin, Stockholm, and Maiden Rock.

Wisconsin Great River Road Scenic Highway

< < < Wisconsin Hwy 35 snakes around and hugs the lower edges of high limestone bluffs.

Wisconsin Bluffs

The Wisconsin bluffs seen from the high terraces on the Minnesota side.

Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures and Eagles are frequently seen cruising the updrafts around these bluffs.

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Frontenac State Park

Jo and her quilting buddy, Sue, camped at Minnesota's Frontenac State Park off of Minnesota Highway 61 SE of Red Wing. Very spacious, wooded, level campsites, clean washrooms, quite comfortable. Frontenac State Park


Looking from the Frontenac Bluffs across the river to Wisconsin.

Frontenac State Park

Thirteen miles of hiking trails in the park, including this one with switch-backs and staircases that lead from the top of the bluff
to the river's edge.> > >

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Red Wing, MN
Red Wing Visitor Center

Red Wing, made famous for its shoes and pottery, has done an excellent job of preserving and restoring its historic downtown district.

Red Wing Riverfront Center

red triangleGo Here for more things to do and see in Red Wing, Minnesota

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Coming Soon . . .

More information on Alma, Lake City, Maiden Rock, Stockholm and Pepin and profiles of the Great River Road to Prescott, Hudson, and St. Croix Falls.

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Directory of Scenic Drives & Byways

quiltbulletLake Superior Circle Tour, Part 1. & Circle Tour Part 2. -
invisible Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula, and Ontario

quiltbulletGreat River Road Scenic Byway, Part 1. - Fulton to Galena, Illinois to
invisible Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin

invsibleFulton, IL
invsibleGalena, IL
invsibleDubuque, IA
invsiblePrairie Du Chien, WI
invsibleMcGregor, IA

quiltbulletGreat River Road Scenic Drive, Part 2. - LaCrosse, Wisconsin to
invisible Winona, Minnesota
invsibleLa Crosse, WI
invsibleWinona, MN

invsibleFall Color Train

quiltbulletGreat River Road, Part 3. - Winona, Wabasha to Red Wing, Minnesota
invsibleWabasha, MN
invsibleRed Wing, MN

quiltbulletOzarks Mountains Scenic Drives - Ozarks National Forest Scenic Drives
invisible and Scenic Highway 7
invsibleArkansas Ozarks Scenic 7 Byway
invsibleMountain View, Arkansas
invsibleHot Springs, AR and Hot Springs National Park
invsibleBuffalo National River and Buffalo River National Park

© 2006 - 2022


Great River Road Map
Map of Great River Road
Prairie Du Chien, WI
to Wabasha, MN

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More Scenic Drives
and Scenic Travel
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Quilt Shops
along the Great River Road Scenic Drive
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rather be quilting
Lake City, MN