What is the Wisconsin Driftless Area & Why That Name?


Rock formation in the Wisconsin Driftless AreaFor incredible sights and wonderful activities, the Wisconsin Driftless Area is the perfect destination. 

About the Wisconsin Driftless Area

The Driftless Area is located in the American Midwest including southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois. The area is noted by the deeply carved river valleys after having escaped glaciation in the last glacial period. While this area was never touched by glaciers, it is well known for its beautifully sculpted topography. The Driftless Area is an outdoorsman’s dream. Surrounded by forested hillsides that reach down toward the valleys which are separated by various Wisconsin Driftless Area trout streams. There is an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers that thrive in this area with the forests, prairie remnants, wetlands, and grasslands. Amish were the first to adopt this area and still farm the land today alongside a multitude of organic farmers. Whether you choose to enjoy the peaceful countryside with a hot cup of tea and a good book, or step into your waders and participate in Wisconsin Driftless area fly fishing, this area has something for everyone to enjoy.

How Did the Wisconsin Driftless Area Get Its Name?

This area’s name is derived from the fact that it was surrounded by glaciers during the last glacial period, yet remained untouched by passing glaciers. This caused some curious, and beautiful, topography in these areas drawing visitors year-round. In accordance with its name, the Driftless Zone in Wisconsin is also a mark to the furthermost edge of the glaciers’ advance. After this, the glaciers receded leaving the rock formations in their path. For a full view of the Driftless Area make sure to check out this Driftless Area Wisconsin map.

Things to Do in the Wisconsin Driftless Area

At this point you may be wondering what else the Driftless Area has besides its renowned beauty. From culture and history to souvenir shopping, you are guaranteed to find plenty to do while visiting this area.

  • Arts & Culture
    The Driftless Area is home to hundreds of artists who find their inspiration from their natural surroundings. From local artist galleries to art found in music and farmers markets, this is a great place to find a new piece to complement your household.
  • Entertainment
    This area is home to many scenic and challenging golf courses. With both nine and 18-hole courses, this is a golf lover’s dream destination. The Driftless Area is also filled with a plethora of family activities including amusement parks, water parks, and more!
  • Historic Attractions
    Learn the rich history that has blessed the Driftless Area over the years. From Native American to Mound Builders, this area is filled with amazing historical sites, that you and yours will thoroughly enjoy.
  • Outdoor Activities
    As a Driftless angler’s dream, this area has plenty to do for the outdoorsman. Wisconsin Driftless Area fly fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, and camping are just a handful of the wonderful outdoor activities this area has to offer.
  • Shopping
    From malls to small local stores, you are nearly guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for in the Driftless Area. This area is known to be an arts & crafts, fair-trade goods, and antique lover’s paradise.

Within the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, you will find a quaint bed and breakfast by the name of Westby House Inn, just waiting for your arrival. From our beautiful Victorian-style inn to our incredible accommodations, you stay will be nothing but luxury. For more information on the Driftless Area, make sure to download our free Driftless Area Vacation Guide.