The Driftless Area
The Driftless Area is defined by what it is not. This rugged landscape is unglaciated – it lacks the glacial drift that defines the rest of the Midwest. Instead, the Driftless is an erosional landscape evidenced by the region’s bluffs, plateaus, and coulees. Dolomite geology leads to one of the densest collections of groundwater springs in the World.
While the West Fork Sports Club is best known as a World class trout fishing destination, the region is home to many other outdoor activities. Avalanche is minutes from shopping, restaurants, and other activities in Viroqua, Westby, and the surrounding communities. La Crosse is the region’s “hub city” and offers many amenities and entertainment options. In the Avalanche area, many Amish shops cater to visitors.
Activities and Links
Not an angler? There are many other things to do in the Driftless Area for biking, hiking, birdwatching, boating on the Mississippi River, shopping, restaurants, arts and entertainment and much, much more. Each panel below links to Driftless Wisconsin pages.
Food and Farming
The Driftless and specifically the Kickapoo Valley is a stronghold of organic and regenerative agriculture. Try a local farmers market or food related business such as WiscoPop, Wonderstate Coffee, or Organic Valley.
The Driftless was first home to mound building native people. Prairie du Chien is the state’s second oldest community. Avalanche was once a bustling community with five mills, a school, and post office.
From small city parks to large state parks like Wildcat Mountain and Wyalusing are all within a reasonable drive from Avalanche. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is another option.
Driftless communities are small and “cozy”. Some are on the plateau like Viroqua and Westby and others are in the valleys like Coon Valley and La Farge.
Many Amish farms and businesses are in the Avalanche area include Sunrise Bakery which you will see signs for it as you head north along the West Fork.
Wisconsin’s Driftless Area is a outdoor mecca. From the Great River Road to our abundant public lands; the Driftless offers something for every outdoor lover. Close to great canoeing and kayaking on “the World’s Crookedest River”.
Farmer’s markets, restaurants like the Drifltess Cafe, the historic Temple Theater, free music most summer days, and shopping are available locally or drive the 40 minutes to La Crosse, the region’s hub city. The region is home to some of the state’s great roads.