Wisconsin February 04, 2018
Travel These 10 Rustic Roads In Wisconsin For Some Of The Most Spectacular Winter Scenery
In some of the most remote parts of the state, hidden among the most beautiful countryside, is a series of Rustic Roads. These roads are less traveled and may sometimes be gravel or unpaved. They are often short detours from more well-known routes, at least two miles long and some of the most gorgeous, scenic drives Wisconsin has to offer.
The Rustic Roads program was created more than 40 years ago to provide hikers, bicyclists and motorists an opportunity to leisurely travel through the state’s scenic countryside. Today, there are 120 designated
Rustic Roads spanning more than 724 miles through 59 counties.
The roads are marked with these brown and yellow signs and are noted as R plus a 1-3 digit number. The state does a wonderful job providing all kinds of information about these spots through the Department of Natural Resources. You should check out all of the state Rustic Roads, but here are 10 that are particularly pretty in winter.
1. Rustic Route 2
In Racine Country, this route goes through rolling hills, farmland and into the Wehmhoff Woodland Preserve. Keep an eye out for various wildlife.
2. Rustic Route 20
Located in Dane County, this is also known as Dyreson Road. It passes Lake Kegonsa and crosses the Yahara River. It also goes past Dyreson House, an early Wisconsin homestead listed in the Wisconsin State Historical Society’s Inventory of Historic Places.
3. Rustic Road 84
Located in Jefferson County, this road runs adjacent to the Bark River. There's an artesian drinking fountain located along this route. The dense woods provide a gorgeous backdrop in the snow.
4. Rustic Road 13
This road makes up the Western edge of Willow River State Park. There are several artesian wells along this route. It crosses the Willow River and ends up near Lake Mallalieu.
5. Rustic Road 14
Located in Adams County, the road winds up to the top of a bluff. A natural spring runs from the top of the bluff down the side of the road to the east. The area is thickly forested and home to a lot of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled.
6. Rustic Road 89
Located in Dunn County, near Menomonie, this scenic road winds south the city through the bluffs of the Red Cedar River. It runs along the Red Cedar State Trail. Halfway along the route is Devil’s Punch Bowl and Tripp Falls.
7. Rustic Road 62
In Price County, this road offers the only access to Timm's Hill, the highest natural point in the state. It runs past Bass Lake, near the Ice Age Trail and Timm's Hill National Trail.
8. Rustic Road 65
Hawthorne Road is the only gravel road in the city of Mequon. Much of the road is lined with oak, maple and weeping willow trees that are gorgeous in every season. Its nearness to Lake Michigan can cause some beautiful fog to roll in, like you see here.
9. Rustic Road 49
Located in Sauk and Columbia Counties, this road goes through the Aldo Leopold Reserve along the Wisconsin River. Leopold's "Shack" is visible here. It served as a weekend retreat and is now a National Historic Landmark.
10. Rustic Road 105
Located in Price County, this is one of the longer rustic roads. It winds through Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. It passes by the South Fork of the Flambeau River and passes through the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge. There's also the restored historic 1876 logging dam on Forest Road 535.
Each Wisconsin Rustic Road has a webpage with a Google Map embedded so you can easily find it and figure out where you need to go.
Check them out on the Wisconsin DNR website here.
Looking for more Wisconsin winter fun? Check out
You Must Visit These 13 Awesome Places In Wisconsin This Winter.