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Wisconsin Adventure Bicycle Route

The Wisconsin Adventure Bicycle Route is a top-to-bottom bikepacking route by Frank Hassler covering the entire length of Wisconsin with photography from Scott Haraldson. The route is ~70% unpaved and snakes through farmland in the south, deep forest in the north, and hits on everything we love about Wisconsin bikepacking in this epic adventure.

Created by: Frank Hassler

All Photos by: Scott Haraldson

This route strings together a series of gravel and doubletrack trail networks, via the most rustic and wild roads that we could find in-between. It's not always straightforward or efficient, but always adventurous and scenic. The route starts at the Point of Beginning. This is the spot where, in 1831 the surveying of the state of Wisconsin began. Every county, town and plot of land in the state is measured from this point (or rather a post about 1/2 mile east of the roadside marker). So it seems like an appropriate place to start.

The Wisconsin Adventure Bicycle Route has two courses for two different types of adventures: The Gravel Course and the Mountain Bike Course.

Route Map

The Gravel Course shares most of the same route as the MTB course, but omits the singletrack trails and any roads or trails that would not be suitable for gravel and touring tires. The Gravel Course is therefore the more straightforward and easier options, and at times can serve as an alternative track for mountain bikers when wet trail conditions or other issues don’t allow one to ride the trail segments.

The Mountain Bike Course includes singletrack trails that are part of six different mountain bike trail networks along the western part of the state. This course also includes rough ATV trails and sandy roads that require technical riding skills and bigger tires.

Trail Notes

There is an MTB version of the route as well, which includes 100 miles of singletrack and a handful of more remote and rock or sandy backroads and ATV Trails, growing to over 700 miles in length.

Getting to the Start: The fact that the route starts and finishes in rural and remote areas respectively is a feature of the route, but it also makes getting to the start and finish somewhat difficult. Best option is to have a friend drop you off and pick you up. Galena Illinois makes a good overnight town just a 5-10 mile ride from the Point of Beginning, and Bayfield is close to the north end.

There are many miles of ATV trails on the route. ATVs are the primary trail users, and in the interest of maintaining friendly relations between user groups, you should always yield the trail to ATV’s. They are noisy, so its easy to hear them a ways off and find a good place to pull off. Give a friendly smile and a wave as they pass, or a coy nod if you prefer. It may be best to skip ATV trail sections at times when they are busy, such as weekend afternoons in the summer months.

Consider this ambitious, 620+ mile route as a ’template for adventure’. The route is intentionally indirect, even circuitous in order to find the most rustic roads and remote trails. As such, feel free to adapt the route to your needs, if you need an easy day take a short cut. If there’s a site you’d like to see that’s off route, go check it out!

There are several other bikepacking routes that you can connect to from the WABR, including the Northwoods Route, the Wisconsin Waterfalls Loop, the Tour De Chequamegon.

If You Go, Here's What You Need to Know:

Route Highlights

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