Southern Jefferson County, WI Scenic Drive

With a lot of love given to southern Whitewater, WI and its vast trail system throughout the Kettle Moraine State Forest, there are other hidden gems to the north that deserve a day trip. Pack up your car and explore the outskirts of Whitewater and south-eastern Jefferson County on scenic drives, Rustic Roads, and through rolling countryside with plenty of pull-over points to picnic or hike.

Scenic Point #1:  Kettle Moraine Oak Opening

Grab a coffee and breakfast sandwich from SweetSpot Cafe to-go and enjoy a leisure drive on Bluff Rd. through Whitewater woods and countryside. Once you reach the Kettle Moraine Oak Opening (an area of glacially-formed kettle holes, kames (conical mounds), and gravelly hills and ridges), plop down in the prairie grasses of the ridge with your coffee or meander the path of the Blackhawk Segment of the Ice Age Trail to immerse yourself in a forest of burr and black oaks.

Scenic Point #2: Bark River Rd. Wetlands

Hop back in the car and take off toward Palmyra for WI-106. This 20min drive toward the Bark River Rd. wetlands passes rolling farmland and crosses over the Bark River. If you call and order ahead of time, pick up some cupcakes from KC’s Kupcakes and Cake just off 106.

Once on County Rd. N toward Cold Spring, take a right on Bark River Rd. (or Rustic Road #84) and stick with it until the glorious end. Countryside suddenly becomes wet meadows, and then you’ll find yourself driving through a floodplain-wetlands forest between the Rock and Bark rivers. There are a few spots where you can pull your car over, so you can get out and mosey for great photo ops. Mid-spring, look for geese and ducks with their babies.

Scenic Point #3: Burnt Village County Park

Turn around at the Rock River Bait Box and head back to N for a short drive to Burnt Village County Park, a two acre spot on the banks of the Bark River where you can grill out, drop in a lure or kayaks, or simply picnic and enjoy the scenery.

Scenic Point #4: Rustic Road #88

The Rustic Roads system in Wisconsin began in 1973 and offered numerous options for leisure, scenic drives on a slow afternoon or weekend. As you begin your trek back to Whitewater for dinner at Taco Fresco or La Piazza Pizzeria, enjoy Rustic Road #88 as it takes you through countryside, farm fields, and woods with glimpses of beautiful barns, farmhouses, and a canopy of oaks.

Be safe. Have fun! And happy driving!

Katy Daixon Wimer is a southern Wisconsin photographer, story-teller, soul dweller, and poet dedicated to telling your story and reconnecting you to yourself. Capturing who you are and telling your story while guiding you toward a deeper connection with yourself light Katy up. That’s where the magic happens.


September 2022 Winner


Halloween Thrills in Jefferson County
Halloween Thrills in Jefferson County
Halloween enthusiasts will find something for all thrill-levels in Jefferson County
A Creamery 201 Wedding
A Creamery 201 Wedding
Jefferson County is home to some of the most beautiful, unique, affordable, and conveniently located event venues in Wisconsin. Join...
Barn Quilt Help from Axley
Barn Quilt Help from Axley
What you may not know is the great behind the scenes work that helped make this tour happen. One of...
Whitewater Storytelling Festival September 23rd – 25th
Whitewater Storytelling Festival September 23rd – 25th
Grab your imagination and head to Whitewater, WI for the magical Whitewater Storytelling Festival happening this weekend! The weekend will...
Enjoy Some Late-Summer Fun in Fort Atkinson this Weekend!
Enjoy Some Late-Summer Fun in Fort Atkinson this Weekend!
Looking for a reason to get out and explore Jefferson County this weekend? September 16-18 is the perfect weekend to...
Sign up for our Event Newsletter
Read the latest stories about what's happening in Jefferson County and get a list of events delivered right to your inbox each month.
Thank you for subscribing!