October 7, 2010
Autumn is the Perfect Time to Explore the Great River Road
Along with cooler temperatures and shorter days, autumn also brings perhaps the best time to tour Wisconsin’s Great River Road, which stretches over 250 miles from Prescott to Kieler, Wisconsin. Scenic throughout the year, Wisconsin’s Great River Road provides travelers with a variety of geography and topography from which to view the Mississippi River. Prescott’s Freedom Park is an especially impressive location to view fall colors.
Wisconsin’s Great River Road is part of a nationwide network that stretches from the Mississippi River’s headwaters at Minnesota’s Lake Itasca down to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. The nationwide Great River Road runs along both sides of the Mississippi River through the ten states along its path and is managed by the Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC), which consists of a national board and each state’s Commission.
In addition to the fall foliage, Wisconsin’s Great River Road is home to a wide array of wildlife. Over two-thirds of the area that surrounds Wisconsin’s Great River Road is protected land, which fosters an environment that is home to over 300 species of birds throughout the year. In fact, the skies over the nationwide Great River Road host over 40% of North America’s migrating swans, ducks, geese, and other waterfowl during their migration. The Great River Road is also one of the best places to see bald eagles in the state.
It is often easy to take for granted the scenic beauty and impressive resources that we have in our own back yard. Tourists from throughout the state and country travel to the 33 towns along Wisconsin’s Great River Road and provide critical support to the state’s tourism industry. Residents of western Wisconsin have the distinct advantage to enjoy this national treasure so close to home. The communities along Wisconsin’s Great River Road host many family events throughout the year, and details about ongoing local events and information are available on its website at http://wigrr.com.
As one of the Commissioners from Wisconsin's MRPC, I welcome your input regarding the Great River Road. What are some of your favorite things about the Great River Road? How can Wisconsin and the MRPC do a better job to promote and preserve this resource? Please let me know by calling my office at 1-800-862-1092 or sending me an email to Sen.Harsdorf@legis.wi.gov.