The Drive: From Westby (just east of LaCrosse) to Wildcat Mountain State Park (and through Wisconsin’s Amish country) to Wisconsin’s Great River Road.
The Overview: “This ride could be called ‘the ride of all rides’ and is one of my personal favorites,” says Dave Keene, author of Cruisin’ The Back Roads (which focuses on motorcycling Wisconsin; cruisinthebackroads.com). “You will travel from low ground to the high hills, from dry land to wetlands, through the farms and cheese factories of the Amish countryside.”
Get There: From Rochester, choose a route to get you to Westby, Wis. (I-90 will get you there fast and Hwy 16 will make the ride scenic), but we recommend taking Hwy. 33 east from LaCrosse, then 27 south. Then take Cty. P to Cty. D and east on Hwy 33 to Wildcat Mountain State Park. From there, head southwest and meet up with Wisconsin’s Great River Road near Stoddard and head south.
Wildcat Mountain State Park: Wisconsin’s Route 33 has been called “The Little Deals Gap of the Midwest,” a reference to the classic North Carolina motorcycle ride must-do. This is not quite that, but the stretch through Wildcat Mountain State Park takes you on a memorable series of some of our favorite switchbacks.
Old Country Cheese Factory: While riding along County Road D, stop in at the Amish-owned Old Country Cheese factory and outlet store.
They not only sell over 20 varieties of cheese made right there, but also homemade jams and candy, Amish crafts and maple syrup. As always, there are fresh cheese curds available to take along with you on your ride. oldcountrycheese.com.
Little-Known Lookout: Heading south on I-35, turn left on Hwy 56/Main St. in Genoa. When 56 turns to the right, you will swing left staying on Main Street to Hickory Ridge Rd. (2 blocks). Turn right across from Captain Hook’s Bait & Tackle shop. The Hickory Ridge sign is hard to see so you have to look for it. Turn left on Hickory Ridge. Vista scenic lookouts are about one mile up the hill on Hickory Ridge Road.
Ride submitted by Dave Keene