Wisconsin March 27, 2018
Wisconsin’s Windiest Road Has Countless Curves And It’s Not For The Faint Of Heart
With no mountains, we don’t have a lot of switchbacks or crazy, windy roads, so we have to make do a bit when it comes to finding the curviest road. Way up at the tip of Door County is the windiest part of this curvy road, but Highways 42 and 57 actually curve all around the peninsula. There’s one particular spot that’s the most crazy, but you’ll tuck in and out of the nooks and crannies on both sides of the peninsula if you drive on these two highways.
The peninsula has two highways that will take you all around the whole thing. They sort of cross in the middle and you can use them to traverse the whole thing.
Whether you're crossing Sturgeon Bay ...
Enjoying the peaceful, idyllic farmland ...
Or heading along the coast, these two highways will wind you this way and that to make sure you see nearly every part of Door County.
The winding nature of the roads up here mean you cut through tons of natural beauty.
In the Spring, you get to see some lush, beautiful foliage and it feels like you're driving through tunnels made of leaves.
In the fall, the leaves turn brilliant colors and a drive is the best way to get out and see the leaves blazing.
But there's a small stretch of Hwy 42 north of Gills Rock that is the windiest of all.
It sure seems like this road gets all curvy for no real reason at all. And there seem to be a couple of different explanations for why the road goes a bit wonky here.
One legend says the utility poles used to run in this pattern through here, so the road had to accommodate them. But the more accepted reason has to do with landscape architect Jens Jensen. Jensen founded The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay and was an inspiring force behind the creation of The Ridges Sanctuary, but before that he was already established as the dean of landscape architects.
Earlier in his career, Jensen created what he called the Ideal Highway. "a thoroughfare that would slow traffic, keep nature always in view, and include a separate pedestrian path." While this stretch of Hwy 42 isn't quite that, it's easy to believe that Jensen's vision for folks to slow down and appreciate nature led to this crazy little bit of highway.
This stretch often has cars pulled off to photograph it - it's said to be the most photographed spot in Door County. No matter the season, this bit of windy road invites you to slow down, take in the view and appreciate nature as you weave back and forth.
Have you driven on this very windy stretch of Wisconsin highway? Let us know in the comments! Are there other twisty-turny highways we should know about?
Looking for another unique Wisconsin drive? Check out
A Drive Down Wisconsin’s Loneliest Road Will Take You Miles And Miles Away From It All.