De Soto, a quaint and historic village nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, was first known to settlers as “Winneshiek’s Landing.” This charming locale was named after a Ho-Chunk tribal chief who traded furs for supplies with French traders, and its rich cultural history is still felt today. After the Black Hawk War, settlers renamed the settlement “De Soto” in honor of the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto, who “discovered” the Southern Mississippi River. Though he never ventured so far north, his spirit of adventure lives on in this vibrant community.
De Soto’s prime location along the river made it a bustling lumber and grain shipping center in its early years, and today it’s packed full of opportunities for outdoor sports, natural wonders, and new friendships. Whether you’re looking to hike scenic ridges, fish in tranquil streams, or simply relax at a nearby campsite, De Soto has it all. And when it’s time to refuel, you can indulge in some of the area’s best food and drink while soaking in the local charm.
As the gateway to the stunning ridges and valleys of Wisconsin, De Soto is the perfect jumping-off point for your next road trip. And with easy access to both Prairie du Chien and La Crosse, WI, there’s no shortage of exciting destinations to explore. Come discover the thrill of adventure in De Soto, where history, natural beauty, and modern amenities collide.