The Big Driftless Big River Bluffs Fall Adventure Bicycle Camping Meetup and Get Down!

 Get ready for the first ever Big Driftless bicycle meet-up! Held in DeSoto, WI and thrown together in a few weeks time, rag-tag style! This will be an opportunity to ride your bikes, meet some rad people, get out in it, and draw out that adventurous spirit that holds space within all of us... some a little deeper than others.


The Plan

So the plan for this little shin-dig is to pick a spot on the map, for many of us that will be the places that we live (La Crosse / Decorah/ Viroqua / Rochester / etc), though some may want to choose a location closer to the the final destination, and then plan a route that will lead you to Blackhawk Park for an evening campout session with friends.  It's that simple! 

For some, this really will be "simple" and may be something you do for fun all the time, for others this may be an overwhelming task, against seemingly impossible odds, but we here at Big Driftless believe in you! Not only do we believe that you can do this, we also believe that you should do this!


US Army Corps of Engineers Blackhawk Park is what this place is called in Google maps



This is the spot that we will post up at. It's called the Green Lake Campground.


Green Lake Campground is here on the map.


Once at Blackhawk Park, camping consists of first come first served basic tent camping sites. A $9.00 contribution will help pay for your spot as sites are $18.00 but can have two tents per site (it may end up being less than that, but no more). The good folks at Blackhawk Park seemed very accommodating and flexible with spots and space, so show up and tell them, "Big Driftless sent us!"... or, you know, just look for us. We'll plan to be there setting up camp around 4:00 in the afternoon. 

There is no electrical hookups at this specific campground, but there are outlets in other parts of the park, so come fully charged, or plan to post up while your phone charges for the return trip.


In future events like this, Big Driftless will have a provided food element to the event, but because this is the first one that we're doing and it's hard to determine just how many people will show up for it, we wont be providing food this time around. However, there is a place just down the road from the campsite called, The Great River Roadhouse, that makes a good pizza and has a full menu of fine food, so we can order pizza for a campfire pizza party that evening or grab dinner there. And, of course, if you wanted to stick to full on adventure style camping, bring your cookware and grub along with you. I will plan on bringing fixins for some hearty oatmeal for breakfast on Sunday and will have enough for everyone so bring a bowl and a spoon if you want some. Don't forget to stock up on snacks for the journey. There is also a convenience store close to the campground if you want to get any beverages for the evening.

Here is the website for the Great River Roadhouse


There are so many forms of biking these days ( road bike / fat bike / gravel bike / mountain bike / e-bike / etc. ) and the truth of the matter is that all of these forms of two wheeled travel will get you to where you want to go in some way or another, your route should reflect the type of bicycle that you have to ride. Gravel roads will have less traffic on them but won't be good for road bikes with thinner tires, and any bike can ride on the highway but some paved roads have inadequate shoulder space and you may have to ride in the traffic lane. In these cases there is safety in numbers, so talk your friends into doing it with you, and wear bright - visible clothing. 

Distances depend on how far YOU want to go so feel free to start from wherever you feel comfortable traveling from, and/or lining up a ride home the next morning if you don't want to ride back.

That being said, for the full adventure experience, you should consider riding there and back. It'll make you more proud of yourself when you complete the mission. Bike shorts with padding in the butt were created for a reason, they will be your friend on this journey. You can get by without them, but t'aint a bad idea to have'm ... if you know what I mean. 

Approximate Distances to Blackhawk Park:  

Decorah, IA - 44 miles 

La Crosse, WI - 30 miles 

Viroqua, WI - 25 miles 

Winona, MN - 56 miles 

Lanesboro, MN - 78 miles 

Rochester, MN - 100 miles 



There are a lot of elements to consider in preparing oneself for activities such as this, more than can be covered in just this one page, so consult with the internet for questions about needed gear and what to expect along the way, but feel free to direct any questions that you may have to us and we will do our best to answer them for you. If you feel like you are going to want to partake in this excellent adventure, send us an email saying so, and we can add you to an email list for coordinating our efforts.


*Information may change and/or be updated as we get closer to October 16th, so keep an eye on the website, and Instagram if you have it.

Hope to see you out there, cheers!








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