River Bend Route
Named for the area where the Wisconsin River bends to the west, this route has something for everyone. It includes twisty roads, open sweepers, elevation changes, a free ferry ride, scenic wonders, and a road called “Devil’s Delight”. The River Bend Route traces the path of the Wisconsin River from Spring Green past Portage, Wisconsin. You will enjoy the open curves of Highway 60 and the free ferry crossing at Merrimac, on your way to Wisconsin Rustic Road #49 outside of Portage. After you finish with the rustic road, your path turns back southwest toward some great hills and scenery. It is on this part of the route that you will pass through Devil’s Lake State Park. Amazing rock formations and incredible hiking await you. Driving through the park is free, but you will need to pay for park access to hike. After Devil’s Lake you will also pass by Natural Bridge State park and Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron, which is a great place to stretch and view the fantastic metal creations.
The final leg of this route will take you through Leland, which is one of the stops on the semi-annual Slimey Crud Run. In fact, if you are planning on attending the Slimey Crud Run, this route will provide you with some great side trip ideas. The River Bend Route is also one of our closest to Madison, Wisconsin. It would be a great route to try if you are new to the Driftless area. More attractions on this route include Baraboo’s Circus World Museum and International Clown Hall of Fame, and North Freedom’s Mid-Continent Railway Museum. There are also many parks and recreation areas, as well as 3 Wisconsin Rustic Roads (#s 21, 49, 110).
NOTE: While all of our routes were created utilizing paved roads, we are not able to keep up with road conditions throughout the entire Driftless Area. It is up to each rider to assess road conditions and their own abilities in order to assure rider safety.
River Bend Route (pictured above): ~230 miles; 6.5 riding hours.
River Bend Lite Route (not pictured): ~185 miles; 5 riding hours.
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Baraboo: Circus World Museum, Devil’s Lake State Park, International Crane Foundation, Lower Narrows State Natural Area, Man Mound Park, Sauk County Courthouse, Giant Steer, Giant Moose and Bear Statue, Ringling Theater, International Clown Hall of Fame, Pewitt’s Nest State Natural Area
North Freedom: Mid-Continent Railway Museum, Natural Bridge State Park, Baxter’s Hollow, Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron
Sauk City: Ferry Bluff State Natural Area, Wollersheim Winery
Prairie du Sac: Graff Park and Eagle Island, Fish Lake Park, Salem-Ragatz Historic Church
Lodi: Gibralter Rock State Natural Area, Lodi Marsh State Natural Area
Portage: Giant Farmer Bob, Aldo Leopold Foundation
Plain: Large Mouse with Cheese
Merrimac: Merrimac Ferry
Wisconsin Rustic Roads #21, #49, #110