If you look for Driftless Wisconsin on a map, you probably wont find it because Driftless Wisconsin is a region – “the Driftless Wisconsin area” – but why “Driftless?” What does that mean?
The Driftless Wisconsin area is geologically unique in many respects and is called “Driftless” because it lacks drift. “Drift” refers to the material left behind by glaciers: an aggregate of gravel, boulders, and other telltale residue.
A lack of drift indicates that an area was skirted by the most recent passage of glaciers. This dodging of the glacial bullet often leaves a landscape that looks radically different from the areas surrounding it – and that describes Driftless Wisconsin to a “t.”
Driftless Wisconsin bedrock consists mostly of Karst, a kind of land made up of softer stone, such as limestone, that is riddled with caves and sinkholes. Due to this, the Driftless Wisconsin area hosts a diverse and fragile ecosystem of plants, animals, soils, and open aquifers.
In other words, the Driftless Wisconsin area is unique, rare, and special: a wealth of forested hillsides and valleys sculpted out of limestone by clear, running trout streams. A distinctive and beautiful landscape that attracted the farmers whose descendants still work its fields, the Amish who continue to call it home, and continues to attract vintners, organic farmers, families, and an endless stream of visitors.
The diversity of Driftless Wisconsin stretches up out of the land to embrace and influence those who come here, providing a myriad of pursuits for visitors and residents alike – whether you’re here for the land, its bounty, the community, or the culture it inspires.
Come see for yourself all the unique and wonderful features of the Driftless Wisconsin area, both in the great outdoors as well as in the Driftless vineyards, farms, shops, and galleries.