EXPLORING THE DRIFTLESS AREA WITH DRIFTLESSROADADVENTURES.COM
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orca’s – 4/27/18
Being from the Midwest, I hear the phrase “The good riding” thrown around a lot. We have a lot of open space here in the Midwest but much of it has been plowed into a uniform looking agricultural plot. The Driftless Area however, offers a nice change of pace.
When people say “The Good Riding” they are often speaking about unusual topography, a place that will offer the rider something different than the typical terrain. An escape from the endless gravel roads that have been so carefully graded and grided out for us.
The Driftless area is one of these places; A place that has “The Good Riding” in the Midwest. I recently heard about a website offering free routes designed to help riders explore the Driftless Area by way of motorcycle. Dale Hoke and his wife Renee, have been working to craft routes all around the area for riders and have also made it all available for free on their site, dirtlessroadadventures.com.
The Driftless Area is a time capsule of sorts, where glaciation missed the land and left it as a land rich in bluffs and forest. A beautiful departure from the rest of the surrounding land.
In addition to excellent motorcycling, there are many charming towns, great trout fishing, idyllic bed and breakfasts, the mighty Mississippi River, many historical landmarks, and some really excellent campgrounds in the area.
If you are interested in riding the Driftless Area, their site is a great resource. There is a route index available that has already been mapped out, or if you would like to plan your own ride, or Dale offers custom routes for very reasonable prices.
While much of the Midwest might have the reputation for being fly-over states or to motorcyclist as being the states you must blast though on I-80 while on your way to Colorado, there are areas of great beauty that remain largely untapped by the national rider. The Driftless Area is certainly one of these spots.
I highly recommend a visit there (even if you are on your way somewhere else) and driftlessroadadventures.com is a great place to start planning your visit.
My friends and I made a weekend tour through the Driftless Area in August. Wonderful 2-lane riding roads, interesting wildlife (like the vulture that narrowly missed my friend as it left a center-line roadkill), and fun little restaurants and breweries. This area near the Mississippi River is a treasure for motorcyclists.