[Please Click Banner Below to Visit our
Great River Road
Visitor Center Grand Opening, Prescott, Wisconsin
Travelers can watch eagles
soar overhead while river traffic churns far below from the newly built
Great River Road Visitor Center. The Center¾situated
in scenic Freedom Park¾sits on
a 100-foot sandstone bluff overlooking the confluence of the pristine
St. Croix River with the muddy Mississippi. Located in the classic
river town of Prescott Wisconsin at the gateway to the Great River Road
(why 35), it’s only 35 miles from the Twin Cities. Beginning May 26th
2006, the building and the grounds will be open to all interested
The Great River Road Visitor Center
houses educational displays which explain: eagles and other local
wildlife; river boating; Native American contributions; local commerce;
travel information and more. The Freedom Park grounds¾which
surround the Center¾include a
large picnic shelter, learning kiosks, park benches, amphitheater,
gardens, walking paths, viewing areas, and outdoor terraces.
For More Information, Call: Rhoda Thomas at Heritage Press
This review appeared in the November, 1989, Booklist.
Discover! has been updated four times since
Middleton, Pat.Discover! America's Great River Road.
The Mississippi River Valley holds some of the nation's most beautiful countryside and interesting
history. Middleton takes the reader along the roadway known as the Great River Road, pointing out access
points to marinas, lodgings, parks, campgrounds, and fishing sites. On the journey from [Memphis] to St.
Paul, Minnesota, the author stops to visit historic and geologic sites, artisans, shops, restaurants, and
A terrific guide for those who relish boating, fishing, or cruising on land along the Mississippi.
--Denise Perry Donavin
For further information contact Rhoda Thomas
Heritage Press, 608-457-2734
First published in the Wisconsin REC magazine, May 1995. This article may be reprinted
provided that credit is given to the author and original publisher.
Pat Middleton loves to write. She also loves to travel, and she believes that
every place has its own story to tell. So perhaps it is not surprising that the rural Stoddard,
Wisconsin, resident should write about the nearby Mississippi and its Great River Road.
Middleton's first two books--two volumes of
Discover! America's Great River Road--are well-researched travel guides for motorists and boaters who follow the
scenic Great River Road, which rambles the length of the Mississippi, first on one side of
the river, then on the other.
Middleton, a world traveler with her husband before they returned to
Wisconsin, took to the roads again--this time traveling from town to town along the river to
learn firsthand what travelers should know.
Middleton's first volume, the Upper Mississippi,
covers the Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and northern Illinois portions of the Great River Road, taking the traveler
from Dubuque, Iowa, to St. Paul, Minnesota. Her second volume,
The Middle Mississippi, meanders from Dubuque to St. Louis.
Both books serve as guides for families touring the scenic route, supplying a
little background of each town along the way and a summary of what to see and do,
including parks, campgrounds, and historical sights. They also mention some interesting places
to shop, stay overnight, and eat--though, as Middleton points out, it was not her purpose
to list every restaurant or motel along the way.
Instead, she includes something infinitely more interesting--intriguing sketches of
characters, places, and early incidents that shaped the history of many of the areas
along the river.
The books brought rave reviews from as far afield as
USA Today, the Washington Post, the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, and the Des Moines Register.
Garrison Keillor, former public radio host of
A Prairie Home Companion, commented, "That stretch of the river is one of the loveliest places in America, and
Pat Middleton deserves a big cheer for mapping it out for us and giving good directions."
Middleton's third book veers of on a slightly different course. It's a
Mississippi River Activity Guide for
Kids, and it's full of games, puzzles, and other educational
activities centered on the river. For children actually traveling the Great River Road with
their parents, there are daily logs to be kept, just as a real river captain would do.
"I wanted schools and parents to know what I thought kids should know about
the river," said Middleton. She added, "This book is taking on a life of its own. We
have developed a Mississippi River Teacher Resource
Kit that is being incorporated into school programs--even as far away as France--as a river studies component to courses in
English, social studies, science and environmental education.
Today, with three books on the market, Middleton contiues to promote the
Mississippi River. A third volume of Discover!
will be released late the summer of 1996. It will follow the river from St. Louis, through the French historical district, to Memphis,
Tennessee. She is a frequent guest lecturer for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and a
guest expert for the on-line services. She's also working on a novel set in the 1830s along
the Mississippi River. Many of her articles about life along the Mississippi appear in
Heartland Boating Magazine.
To order a copy of Discover! America's Great River Road,
call Heritage Press at 608-457-2734. Volumes 1 and 2 are $13.95. The
Mississippi River Activity Guide for Kids is $5.50. Books may also be ordered from Heritage Press by mail at Rt. 1,
Stoddard, WI 54658.
Heritage Press also maintains the Mississippi River Home
Page at http://www.greatriver.com/
Net surfers will find a wealth of Mississippi River travel and educational
information at this site, including a FREE 1300 word mini-guide to traveling the Upper
Mississippi River. Middleton's books may be ordered directly on line. Viewers may also email
questions directly to Pat Middleton, find a schedule of winter eagle watches, and peruse
various travel features about places like the Museum of the American Quilter's Society.
What might Mark Twain have made of the World Wide Web? That we can only guess at, but modern day river buffs
can make contact with Mississippi River author, Pat Middleton, at the Mississippi River Home Page
on the World Wide Web. Middleton is the author of the Mississippi River travel guide series,
Discover! America's Great River Road, published by Heritage Press, Rt. 1, Stoddard, WI
The site provides a wealth of Mississippi River travel and educational
resources in the form of interviews, time-lines and feature stories. Current features include information on
the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah, KY, and the 150th Anniversary of the
Mormon Exodus from Nauvoo. Email river questions to the author in a section called "Stump
Many additional river links are categorized as personal journals, educational, government,
and tourism contacts. Order a FREE mini-guide to traveling on the Upper Mississippi River. Check
the site out on the internet at: http://www.greatriver.com/ Please note the address has changed from www.geopages.com
Volume 1 of Discover! interprets the heritage, natural history and recreational resources of the river from St. Paul to Dubuque
(Upper Mississippi). Volume 2 guides the traveler through the Middle Mississippi from Dubuque to St.
Louis. To be released this summer is Volume 3, the Lower
Mississipi, from St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee. Many elementary schools also use the Mississippi River Activity
Guide, a workbook designed for children in grades three through sixth ($5.50).
Discover! guides are available from the publisher
(608-457-2734) for $13.95 each. Callers may also request the FREE mini-guide to the Upper Mississippi.