Of course the entire state of Wisconsin is famous for cheese!
After football fans started wearing those yellow wedge-shaped foam hats in support of our favorite team, we became officially and affectionately known as "cheeseheads." And we consider the nickname a compliment!
Here in southern Wisconsin we are also cheese eaters, cheese lovers, and most importantly - cheesemakers. This tour along scenic back roads and over rolling hills also highlights history, outdoor recreation, and kid-friendly stops along the way. Another way to enjoy the scenery of Cheese Country is by taking an off-road trip on the Cheese Country Trail - a multi-use trail (popular with ATV's) running through Green, Lafayette, and Iowa counties.
Welcome to the Great River Road, designated one of America's Scenic Byways. The 250 mile length of the Wisconsin Corridor, from Kieler to Prescott, invites the traveler to embark on a two-day road trip.
To make the journey "traveler friendly," simply follow the white signs displaying a green pilot's wheel with the words "Great River Road," and which also bears the familiar red, white, and blue pennant with a white star to indicate a Scenic Byway.
Lakes, Trails & Streams Tour
From spectacular sunrises over Castle Rock Lake to calm canoeing on the crooked river of The Kickapoo, we invite you to enjoy serene summers, vibrant fall colors, and the winter playground of the lakes, trails, and streams region of southwestern Wisconsin’s Hidden Valleys.
Activities for the entire family include swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, picnicking, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are here for all to enjoy!
Bikes & Berries Tour
Bikes and Berries is the theme as you drive through this unglaciated area. Travel through cranberry country and enjoy the spectacular wildlife. More than 2500 acres dot the countryside in the northern part of the county. Enjoy one of our seven museums, the Amish countryside, Fort McCoy, the Wegner Grotto and beautiful rolling hills as you travel through the area.
Check out the world’s largest bicycle in Sparta. The Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail and the LaCrosse River Bike Trail offer some off the road tours you’re sure to enjoy. Come and explore our class A trout streams, public hunting, kayaking, canoeing and hiking opportunities.
Heart of Hidden Valleys
We begin our adventure through the “Heart of Hidden Valleys” in Richland County’s largest community and county seat, Richland Center. It was settled on both sides of the Pine River by trappers canoeing up the Wisconsin River. By 1880 it was a thriving community of 1,227. World renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was born here in 1867.
He returned in 1915 to build the unique A.D. German Warehouse located on Church St. The beautifully restored, 1909 railroad depot now houses Richland Center’s Visitor Center on the corner of Hwy. 14 and Seminary St. One block north of the Visitor Center is Court Street, Richland Center’s downtown main street.
Shopping, restaurants, antiques, art galleries and many other unique shops are readily available in the downtown area. On the outer areas of Richland Center, apple orchards cover the hillsides with spring blossoms and fall fruit. Take advantage of more shopping, a place to spend the night, and a fast burger, all of which can be found before leaving town, as we head east on Hwy. 14
Pick your favorite way to travel, and then head to the Hidden Valleys. This guide showcases the best of southwestern Wisconsin.
Use the pull-out map at the center to plot out your own itinerary. Or if you're looking for some insider travel tips, we invite you to follow one of our driving tours.
Wineries & Vineyards
For wine aficionados, there is a color palette of shades of red, white, and blush.
You'll be amazed at the variety of wines to taste, with each winery producing their own distinctive flavors due to a number of factors: soils vary throughout the region, numerous types of cold-climate grapes are used and combined, each winemaker has their own recipes, and even the age of the grapevines can influence flavor.