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A buddy and I are doing a weekend trip along the Mississippi River in a few days. The plan is to ride over to Prairie du Chien, WI, Saturday morning and then ride as far north as we can get before stopping for dinner & a hotel. Sunday morning we'll cross over to the MN/IA side and ride back down to Dubuque to cross back to WI and head home.

Along the way, we may want to do a few side excursions; for example, I think we're going to run over to the Mindoro Cut on our way north.

Any other suggestions of fun roads or destinations close to the River Road in that area?
 

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If I were you I would make Bucknuckles Bar and Grill my destination... coming from the south as you are, take 88 north just after fountain city. Go through cream and then The restaurant is on the left just after T.
On the way back to the River Rd just take T to N to S to 37 (they have a saying at the bar that makes directions easy). Then you can go acoss the river at Nelson/Wabasha.

Regardlss, you should stop at the creamery in Alma for ice cream.

If you are able to go even further north than Nelson/Wabasha that is a really nice ride around Lake Pepin. The WI side is very slow through small towns but they are cute and have fantastic little bar/restaurant stops. The Minnesota side is much quicker, but if you go in the afternoon the sun is across the river and the shade can get very cool by the water...


At a minimum I would think you can ride the WI side from Prairie du Chien up to the Winona crossing as it is only 100 miles.

Sometimes it is fun to criss cross the river as you are going along. But sometimes running one side all day gives ya a good feeling, especially going by the landscape from the other side of the river the next day.

There are soooooooo many little side roads along your route. You can take a small creek road to a ridge road back down to another valley road endlessly, and with the big river so close it is always easy to find the Great River Road again... it is downhill!!

Have fun.
I am having a hard time with the hotel bit, because there are AMAZING campsites on your route. I was watching Eagles and their youth all week from a campsite at Merrick State Park just north of Fountain City... some fun creek roads around there as well...

Ride Safe and Enjoy it.
 

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+1 on the bucknuckles - I grew up in Fountain City, the roads around there are fantastic up 35 all the way to prescott at least.

The creamery in NELSON I think is the one Fiskars was referring to.

Hwy 95 up to arcadia is an awesome side jaunt as well (95 from Fountain City) up to Hansen's Hold Up which has an awesome view of the valley below. Bike parking and cool saloon type atmosphere.

Rust road 51 out of Maiden rock (gravel and some mild water crossings!)

I'm partial to the Monarch Tavern in Fountain City for a brew. :)
 

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Sometimes it is fun to criss cross the river as you are going along. But sometimes running one side all day gives ya a good feeling, especially going by the landscape from the other side of the river the next day.
I did this going south this June. I really enjoyed it. I didn't have time to deviate and take "side trips" so I'm no help there. But, the quote above is a good one. I crisscrossed the river nearly every time I could. You'll encounter all kinds of bridges. Narrow, old, nothing but metal grading for the roadway (my favorite), short, long, you get the idea. This can also keep you close to the river as the road veers away in places on one side or the other.

Have fun!

A few pics from that area. The bridge over my shoulder is the "metal grate" roadway. Not as bad as the Mackinac Bridge but still got my spidey sense up!
 
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