winnipeg to thru Iowa route info please

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by JayElDee, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    I am looking for a paved, scenic, fun, multiday (3-4 days) from Winnipeg down to Dubuque, Ia and beyond.

    I'd very much like to include SW Wisconsin, the Driftless Area. Definitely want to ride along the Mississippi for some of the distance and stop for photos. Figuring 7-8 hour days including stops. I will have seen the headwaters of the Mississippi on the way up, so that does not need be included. Likewise, I will visit the crash site of Buddy Holley et al. on the way up.
    From the Dubuque area I would like to cut across Iowa toward Winterset and the Bridges of Madison County, and from there I am diving south through the Ozarks on my way home...New Orleans.
    Curvey, with elevation changes, green, little traffic, etc are a real plus

    Hope, y'all can help. I usually just aim for the squiggly grey lines on the map, but there don't seem to be many of those. I am hoping that those in the know will be able to tell me what the maps don't.

    TIA

    John
    #1
  2. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Separated at birth

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    Preface to say I know next to nothing about Winnipeg and environs other than mud and flat.

    How you get to my suggestion from the Canukistan side is on you but my suggestion is to enter MN via Warroad to Baudette (Hockey Museum at Warroad if that's your thing), south to US 71 and stay on 71 for a long time. Not especially twisty but you get to see A LOT of lovely things including Bemidji, Itasca, Park Rapids, Wadena, Long Prairie etc. Keep going on 71 and you can see Olivia (home of all hybrid corn and the world's largest corn cob) followed by Morton (Morton Gneiss - unique metamorphic rock outcroppings).

    From there, get on US 14 headed east for some very hospitable farm country and wave at Herman the German in New Ulm. Stay the night and enjoy some of August Schell's finest malt beverage! Keep on US 14 through to Rochester, (stop in Eagle Lake outside Mankato to try the Duke Burger at the Eagle's Nest) then drop south to follow any number of roads toward Iowa. After that, you'll need someone from Iowa to offer advice.

    Hope this helps!
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  3. Layton

    Layton Long timer

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    I'd at least try and ride highway 61 between Hastings, Mn and Dubuque, Iowa. Especially the part in MN that follows the river. It's very pretty.


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  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Consider coming over from Winnepeg to the MN North Shore. Then work south to pick up the Upper Mississippi down to Iowa.
    #4
  5. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Come down through the UP of Michigian, angle west and pick up the Mississippi around Parie du chene wi.
    Then stay on the river road as far as you want.
    #5
  6. rebake

    rebake Long timer

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    Anamosa Iowa has a great motorcycle museum. Worth stopping for.
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  7. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    FYI...I am going to be attempting this in the next couple of weeks. I hope to be back home in New Orleans by 5/10, so weather may be a factor, I realize that.

    yes, it does help, but need some fine tuning. I am going up the old Jefferson Highway and will go up to Winnipeg through Bemidji and Itasca. After, Bemidji (heading back down south), do you have any suggestions for heading down east of the Twin Cities that are recommended for riding or pastoral or whatever? Looks like there are a lot of county and state roads running N-> S? Small roads through "Americana" type towns is nice, I think. I am trying to avoid major highways and interstates as much as possible.

    Not enough time, though desirable for sure, the round the Lake will be another time. Is that FAR preferable to heading SE through Mn in your view? Is Aerostich worth a visit to just look around?

    Like 61 to 14 to 26? How about crossing the river at Lansing and taking WI35 down?

    And if I want a taste of the SW corner, The Driftless Area of Wisconsin:
    That is a worthwhile detour, isn't it? Or not? And any recs there?

    Also, will the apple trees be in bloom in the next couple of weeks and any suggestions for a good ride through the orchards? We don't have apple trees in La, so I am assuming that they are very pretty in bloom?

    Anamosa could be on the way as I am cutting across that way, I think.

    Thanks a lot, peeps, your suggestions really help!

    John
    #7
  8. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    I've been following your reports, Cannonshot, and they are very helpful. The round the Lake will have to await another time, though on the bucket list.
    Would heading for Duluth then following "what moves me" down be a good choice? Any recs in that regard? Would it be better to hit the MN NS farther north? Suggestion for route from Bemidji to NS?

    tia

    The museum in Dubuque looks pretty interesting.

    John
    #8
  9. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    yo, Tmaximusv...it's
    illegitimi non carborundum est
    :wings
    #9
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    What I was suggesting was not the circle tour, just the segment along the north shore down to Duluth. From there you can find some interesting stuff as you work your way south until you hit the Upper Mississippi stuff. Maybe come over to Thunder Bay and then pick up the relevant stuff along MN North Shore. You won't be disappointed with things there. You can hop down to Danbury and ride stuff along the St Croix River heading south.

    By the way I used to spend a lot of time around the Lake Manitoba Narrows hunting in the fall.
    #10
  11. Layton

    Layton Long timer

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    I would take 61 from the Twin Cities to about Lacrosse. It's not twisty but it's sure a nice ride. Once you go into WI the twisty roads are endless.


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  12. runpet

    runpet Been here awhile

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    You could spend a week riding the roads in the Driftless area alone. You may even get tired of so many curves. And the hills. Large Amish population in some areas. Just be dam careful of sand on the roadways if you get off the state highways.(which I recommend) My area(W. of Richland Center)uses sand instead of salt on all of the county and township roads and sometimes you can't see the asphalt through the sand. After a good gully washer everything improves. And watch out for deer and turkeys. I have primitive camping of your so inclined. Unjoy your trip.
    #12
  13. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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  14. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Separated at birth

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    East of the Twin Cities would likely be Wisconsin Hwy 35 down the Mississippi. Fun, beautiful and scenic. Way too many small towns to share them all, but LOTS of good food along the way.

    Thanks, JayElDee - intentional misspellings are a lot of fun!
    #14
  15. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    you can also look at the Trans-Wisconsin Adventure trail and ride it backwards (North to South) or parts of it that fit your route.

    Definitely try to ride through Yellow River state forest in NW Iowa.
    #15
  16. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    wow, thanks all!
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  17. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer Supporter

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    Cannonshots suggestion of the North Shore is worthwhile if you have the time. Otherwise, Hwy 71 through Sioux Narrows is awesome, then cross the border at Fort Francis and take Hwy 53 to Hwy 1. Hwy 1 is one of the best roads in MN and will dump you out onto the North Shore at Beaver Bay.

    South of the Twin Cities cross over the river to Prescott, WI and pick up Hwy 35 heading south along the river.
    Cross back over the river at Winona, head south and pick up Hwy 76 and take that to Marquette (takes you through the Driftless portions of MN and IA). From there pick up the Great River Rd to Dubuque.
    #17
  18. jeepme79

    jeepme79 Adventurer

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    I've ridden both sides of the Mississippi from Prairie du Chein down to Sabula, IA/Savanah, IL and there's no bad route on either side. Lacrosse to Prairie is a nice river ride.
    From the Sabula area you can take Hwy 64 for an easy ride into Anamosa to check out the museum.
    From Anamosa, head south on Hwy 151/Hwy 1 to Lisbon, then to Sutliff to stop off for a beverage on the old bridge.
    After that, head to Solon, North Liberty, then Tiffin to Hwy 6. Once on Hwy 6 head west to the Des Moines area and work your way south from there.
    There are other good detours along that route if you are interested.
    #18
  19. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Hi, jeepme79. I got home yesterday. I took 35 down to Prairie du Chien detouring to ride the Kickapoo river valley and through the apple orchards, which were in bloom and smelled AMAZING. I thne rode back up 35 to LaCrosse and over in the direction of La Crescent, down 26 inland on 9 (I think) and back out on a county road that ran from Wauken back to the river. I then headed inland to Grinnell, then Pella where it wa "Tulip Time" festival then to Winterset on 92. Visited the covered bridges and the neat little town. At that point I realized my rear tire was about to give up the ghost and headed on 35 (ugh) to Engle's in KC.
    I think I liked the west bank more.

    On the way up I detoured to Clear Lake and the crash site and on the way back to Clear Lake was stopped by officer friendly who coerced a donation to the finances of the area because my alleged velocity was in excess of prudent travel.
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  20. stilcrazee

    stilcrazee Been here awhile

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    Sorry I missed your request for routes. Did a lot of back roads up near Prarie area with a club I ride with. I have a "younger days" friend that owns a " Chicago style" beef stand in La Crosse that I would have recommended to you or Breitbach's Country Dining in Sherrill, IA.
    #20