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Take a drive along the ridge, then come back along the river.

A 70 mile ramble through Crawford County

A lot of road trippers start their journeys in Prairie du Chien. It’s easy to understand why, given that Prairie, as the locals call it, has been a community since long before European settlement and has been a pivotal part of Crawford County history for hundreds of years.

Not only that, but it sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, as well as the confluence of several State and US highways. All that make it easy to see why it is a bustling center for commerce in an otherwise undeveloped county.

So, whether you’re just passing through Prairie or staying the night, this trip starts and ends at the split of Marquette Road (State Hwy 35) and Blackhawk Avenue where is becomes State Hwy 27, known to locals as “the roundabout near downtown”. You’ll be headed out of town on Hwy 27, climbing up the rather steep Mondell Hill and headed into the countryside.

Hwy 27 runs roughly north-northeast through Crawford County. It’s a fun road to drive, but watch out for farm equipment and “give them a brake,” they’re working! You’ll pass through Eastman then Seneca on your way to Mt. Sterling, where the road veers a bit to the north-northwest, where the road changes character and goes from following the ridgeline to rising and falling with the terrain.

Once you pass through Fairview, you’ll continue on to Rising Sun, where a left-hand turn onto County B take you eventually down to the Mississippi River. It’s a winding and beautiful drive with distant views of the Mississippi River valley, which you eventually meet after a steep descent, just north of Ferryville on Hwy 35. Make the left-hand turn to head south on 35 and go through Ferryville.

Keep headed south and you’ll make your way south through Lynxville and eventually make your way back to the roundabout in Prairie, right where you started, hey presto.

This is a great drive and is a good way to spend a few hours without having to really pay too close of attention to waypoints and turns. Make sure to stop and enjoy the view and explore the localities you pass through along the way!