As a native of Wisconsin who has also lived in numerous other states (Michigan, Illinois, and Texas among them), I appreciate the heck out of our state and its natural beauty. It's a pleasure to showcase the state's scenic wonders (and fried cheese curds) on the Discover Wisconsin show and with my own road trip website, StateTrunkTour.com. Often on weekends after my shows on 95.7 are done, it's a blast to hit the road and explore - weather permitting.
In August, the weather usually permits. And it's beautiful! Fall colors haven't hit yet, but the lush green and the rolling hills of our state - often punctuated with rows and rows of cornfields or other farm fields - give us a natural beauty that makes it great to live here.
Some people prefer more rugged territory than eastern Wisconsin offers, and you actually don't have to venture too far to find it. The "Driftless Area" is a major geographic feature in the Midwest that, unlike much of the region, wasn't flattened by glaciers over the past tens of thousands of years. The reason we have relatively flat land dotted with so many lakes is precisely because glaicers overrode the land around here. In the Driftless Area, the glaciers went around - for whatever reason - and the landscape is much more abrupt with steep hills, bluffs, and relatively few lakes... but a lot of rushing rivers and streams. While the Driftless Area covers part of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota too, the lion's share - perhaps 80% or more of its total area - lies in Wisconsin.
Where is the Driftless Area? It's roughly the entire southwest portion of the state. Generally, it's everything west and southwest of I-90/94 as it rolls through the state, stretching in areas up towards Eau Claire. It begins not too far west of Madison; the Wisconsin Dells are part of the eastern edge of the Driftless Area. La Crosse is in the heart of it, which is why the bluffs framing the city along the Mississippi River are so spectacular. Here are some photos I shot this weekend at Wildcat Mountain State Park, just east of Ontario, Wisconsin. These give you an idea of just how rugged the topography is - and how beautiful the views can be. Just follow Highway 33 west, and you'll find it about an hour west of Portage!
Photo credit: Me, taken August 16, 2020