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Tiny Cabins in the Massive Woods: How ROAM Became a Launchpad for Northwoods Adventures

ROAM Adventure Basecamp is a tiny gem tucked on the CAMBA trails in the woods near Seeley, Wisconsin. The Scandinavian inspired adventure cabins and camp sites are located right in the heart of mountain bike trails, endless gravel roads, and cross country ski trails. We recently caught up with Suzann Mouw to hear the ROAM story; enjoy!

To learn more about ROAM Adventure Basecamp, visit their website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Moving up to Seeley and Building ROAM

Suzann and Mo Mouw originally built a second home and moved to Seeley, WI to split their time 20 years ago, wanting to live trailside and enjoy the many adventures that would be right out their front door. They wanted to invite more outdoor enthusiasts to experience trailside living and broke ground on ROAM Adventure Basecamp in 2016 and opened in 2017.

Today, ROAM is just a 10-minute bike ride through the CAMBA trails away from their house and continue to be a rewarding (and growing) project that brings more and more people in the Seeley area outdoor adventure community. Heck, they were even featured in Outside Magazine as one of Ten Perfect Fall Adventures.

Roam Adventure Bascamp in the winter
Photo by Dave Schlabowske

ROAM as an Outdoor Adventure Hub

The awesome thing about ROAM is that it's an adventurous intersection of outdoor activities. It's not a sport specific venue; it's just in the middle of the woods where you can go do tons of different things without even needing to drive anywhere. You can ride right out of your cabin and link up with a whole bunch of CAMBA mountain bike trails or get onto an endless network of gravel roads and double track. Paddlers also enjoy ROAM as its located near the Namekagon river.

And that's just in the summer months.

In the winter, the cabins are nicely heated (and frankly look beautiful against the fluffy white landscape). Groomed fat bike trails connect right up to ROAM as do cross country ski trails. The sauna is incredible; honestly winter might be my favorite time to be up there, personally.

Getting Through the Pandemic

I asked Suzann about the pandemic. The pandemic was a weird thing (duh, right?) because of the hit-or-miss way that it helped or hurt different businesses and industries.

Early in the pandemic it was unclear what was considered an "essential service" and whether or not ROAM was allowed to open back up for guest reservations. After making a call to their local representative in Madison, they got the 'all clear' as an 'essential service' and ended up re-opening even before the Forest Service opened their campground.

The nice thing about ROAM is that there is no place to congregate publicly. No visitors' center to check in, no on-site venue for food and drink, just isolated cabins with robust air exchange built in which made it a perfect place for people to escape during the pandemic and launch into outdoor adventures and connect with the trails.

Even the sauna worked out great during the pandemic. They switched from an open-use policy to a sign-up sheet so guests could stay separate from other parties and the sign up slots were so popular, they've just continue to use that system even after the pandemic.

Building Gordy's View Winter Bike Trail

In 2022 ROAM was instrumental in creating a new connector trail that opened up for winter fat biking and cross country skiing called Gordy's View trail. It connects the Seeley Pass trails near ROAM to the Seeley Hills trails closer to Seeley. It is named after the late Gary "Gordy" Penman who owned the Sawmill Saloon, helped create the silent sports community around Seeley, and dreamed of adding this kind of connector trail to the trail network.

Gordy's View is a 6-foot wide trail that's maintained by ROAM and is rideable all winter. A little different than the groomed single track trails in the area, the width of Gordy's View trail makes it easier to enjoy the woods and and look around without being as tight to the trees.

New Gravel Route Library from ROAM

As interest in gravel biking continues to grow, ROAM has been busy creating a new collection of great gravel routes right around their basecamp. The routes sample all the great gravel roads around Seeley, Cable, the Namekagon River, and Lake Helane, among other spots. Stay tuned to their Facebook and Instagram pages for more routes. They have several distances and are all ready to ride or can be used to build longer or shorter versions.

1 Comment

David Strachan
David Strachan
Jun 25, 2023

We stayed in one of these cabins a few weeks ago. They are fantastic! Great views off into tho woods and trillium growing everywhere.




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