Exploring the Trans - Wisconsin trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rokklym, May 20, 2008.

  1. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    we got into some sand just east of Black River Falls. the road started out as gravel and quickly turned to sand, so we noped it out of there and re-routed. We had lots more gravel but managed to avoid all of the rest of the sand.
  2. chrisnack

    chrisnack Been here awhile

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    Yeah there is some around Hatfield... but then the rest is all north... best trail was probably right after Delta diner... right before Chippewa (we camped there thursday night) unless i'm mixing my days up, which is possible, ha!
  3. BryceB

    BryceB It's OK, we know the Mayor!

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    Is anyone riding the Trans Wisconsin Trail yet this year or is it too early up there yet? Family in Rockford IL sent me snow pictures a few weeks back.
    I know flooding was an issue last year. so far, is it more wet or dry up there?

    I'm looking for somewhere to go on a 8-9 day adventure in the end of May or Early June and this is one of my options.

    I was thinking taking my KLR. 2 days to get to Galena from North of Atlanta. 3 on the Trail. 1 back to the Milwaukee area to spend the night with family and then 2 more back home
  4. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    We have had a lot of flooding on the big rivers (Mississippi, Wisconsin, Rock, etc), I don't know about the smaller streams and rivers, but I would expect they are high. However, by the end of May things should be back to normal (ish). i have not heard about heavy damage like there was in past years. That was caused by heavy rain in localized areas.

    So, based on that, i would expect that for the most part the Trans Wisc. trail will be good to go. You might need to detour here or there.

    The southern portion (closes to Galena) is either paved or gravel roads with a few small water crossings. When you get further North past Sparta, you get into more sandy trails/roads so these might be more muddy and boggy.

    Just an FYI, there is going to be a big group ride in the Galena area on the weekend of May 31st, June 1st/2nd. There will be dual sport riding as well as paved rides. I think that people will be riding in small groups. There is one group staying in the hotel at Chestnut Mountain resort and one group staying in the campground in Blanding.

    If that sounds interesting, check out this thread: https://advrider.com/f/threads/huge...-ride-may-31-june-2-2019-nw-illinois.1362932/

    We also have a lot of great paved roads in this area, so if you need to jump off the Trans Wisc trail, check out our website for paved routes: www.driftlessroadadventures.com.

    Post up again when you head out, you might run into some inmates along the way if you let them know you are coming.
  5. kestrom1

    kestrom1 Adventurer

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    Great and interresting thread. I'm new in the forum and have used the last couple of days to go through the whole thread. Lots of great pictures and info. I don't think I'll be riding the TWAT anytime soon since I live in Norway, but it is absolutely something I will try to achieve at some time.
    Daleah likes this.
  6. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    I've seen some pictures from Norway in the past few weeks that make me want to come visit and ride there!
  7. kestrom1

    kestrom1 Adventurer

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    There is lot of great motorcycle roads in Norway. I haven't done a lot of gravel riding, but a lot of the Norwegian west coast over several years. I've been riding a Harley for the last few years. I'll see about getting a thread with some pictures later. I will try to get some gravel roads in this season though :-)

    There is a few motorcycle pictures from Norway in my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/kestrom1/
  8. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    Hi all – longtime lurker and seldom poster here. I’ve done a fair amount of backcountry camping but this will be the first overnight bike trip I’ve done so I’m trying to make sure I have this planned logically.

    The plan is to ride the route June 21-24, with myself on my DR650 and buddy on his XR650L. We’ll be trailering the bikes from Indiana to Dubuque on the 20th, and heading out from Dubuque the morning of the 21st. Hoping to ride the route south to north, then take mostly paved roads on the way home and reach Dubuque sometime in the afternoon on the 24th. Then make the 6 hr drive back to Indiana that day. I’d love to take more time, but that’s all the PTO I have.

    My first couple questions:
    • Is it reasonable to ride the route north and return south on regular roads (not taking interstates unless I have to) in 3 days? That would be Friday/Saturday/Sunday, then hopefully getting back to the truck Monday morning and heading home.
    • What are my best camping options on that timeline? Hoping to get a place with a shower once or twice but primitive doesn’t bother me. I was leaning towards Big Falls County Park on Friday night, Perch Lake or Horseshoe Campground on Saturday night, then Wildcat Mountain State Park (heading south obviously) on Sunday night. Is that reasonable? Just hard to tell how much ground we can cover, knowing that we won’t necessarily be thrashing it and kind of want to enjoy the ride.
  9. Westerly_Wind

    Westerly_Wind Been here awhile

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    Save the TWAT for when you will more time to enjoy it and the weather is a little drier.

    Ride some real trails here instead.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/773781822957829/
  10. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    Huh? I’m not going for another month and I’ll be watching weather - if June’s especially rainy, I have backup options.
  11. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    Hard to tell what the weather will be like in June. We don't have a rainy season, so it all depends on the current weather patterns. It has been a wet winter and spring, to there might be messy trails if the current weather patterns continue through the summer.

    One thing to think about is maybe moving your start point from Dubuque to someplace a little farther west. Unless you are set on Dubuque, it might help you on the last day to have an end point further West. If you get pressed for time, you can motor down I-39 / I-90. But if you have to swing from there back to Dubuque, you probably lose the time you make up on the interstate.

    google maps puts the trip from Ashland, WI to Monroe, WI at 5hrs 45 minutes. Kind of a boring ride, but I think you are doing the fun things on the way north.

    if i read correctly, you are going to drive on Thursday (probably leave after work, right?), ride Friday, Saturday, Sunday, drive home on Monday?

    I'm sure that there are people that have done this in 3 days, but I think you will be really pushing the entire way to make this. I have done the TWAT over several years and it has taken me much longer, but I ride 2 up and I putter along and stop a lot for pictures, etc.

    Here are your options that I can think of:

    1. wait for a window where you have maybe a day or 2 more time.
    2. stick with your plan, but set a time when you absolutely have to turn around. When you hit that time, you head back. If you make it all the way Great! if not, you are not pushing yourself to do something unsafe. Remember, returning should take less time, but it won't be 1/2 as long.
    3. review the route and pick a section that you absolutely MUST DO. Then drive closer to that area to start your ride. Send a note to Chad with specific questions. He is pretty good about responding. there are also plenty of others who have ridden it or are riding it soon, so this is the right forum to ask more question. The route has different scenery and topography in different areas, so depending on your preference, you might want to focus on certain areas.

    I don't want to discourage you, I hope you can take this trip. It is really awesome. Be sure to keep posting to let us know your plans. You might run into some other inmates taking the same trip.

    - Dale
  12. BryceB

    BryceB It's OK, we know the Mayor!

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    I was going to ride it next week, but the weather isn't looking nice. I was coming from Georgia and it's my vacation, so I want it to be nice to ride. Like you, I have options, and I'm going to do something else this time. Rainy and high of low 50s in da nort woods didnt sound like fun. I'm going to ride the Smokey Mtn 1000 instead. The weather looks like it will be fantastic to camp and ride.

    I hope you get good weather.
  13. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    Nope I appreciate it - that’s really helpful. I wasn’t sure how much ground we’d be able to cover in a given day so that helps a lot. I did consider moving the start farther west/north so I’m not tied to Dubuque at all. I’m thinking my best bet is to drive a little farther Thursday to save time on the way there and on the return trip.

    Doubt I can squeeze an extra day into it, although I would love to. Kid #1 arrives in August so it’s my only trip this summer but I think I will try to modify it and make it work.

    What have you used for navigation? I will be using my phone and I have the gpx files in REVER, have also downloaded Gaia per a couple people’s suggestions. I know there’s a whole thread about using a cheap Kyocera to navigate so I may do that too, just can’t sink more $ into a GPS that I won’t need 95% of the time
  14. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    Nice - yeah I figure now is still probably a little chilly up there and it’s been rainy throughout the Midwest apparently. Sounds like you’re gonna have a good time no matter what.
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  15. BrittC

    BrittC Been here awhile

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    If it helps, we left the Chicago burbs early on a Friday morning and made it to "The Beginning" at 11am. We made it to Cornucopia on Sunday at about 11am, and back home on Sunday by 11pm. We had to bypass some of the trail and Delta Diner due to time constraints. I would not do it in 3 days again but tent issues for my riding partner prevented Sunday night camping so we slabbed it home.

    It was an awesome time though and I plan to do it again this year.
  16. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    I use a Garmin for navigation, but a phone should work for you too. I have not used rever or gaia, but I have heard others have used them. I have also heard of some people having success with Osmand. Whatever you decide to use, I would suggest trying a test run well in advance. Nothing sucks worse than starting a trip and having something not work out as planned.
    Jake260 likes this.
  17. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    Sounds good. I hope to be riding by 7:30 or 8 every morning, including Friday, plus have part of the day Monday to return.

    Tentatively our plan is to move the start a little farther up so we can get back to the truck faster on the return trip. I figure we can cut out some of the slower ORV trail sections if it looks like we’re going to be pushing it on the time too. Since we’re both on 650s we should be able to chew up miles if needed.

    Glad to hear more good things about the route though. Can’t wait to get out there and see how the DR handles it.
  18. BrittC

    BrittC Been here awhile

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    I personally did not really enjoy the ATV trails when I was up there. The side by sides would blast past us from behind, and the oncoming ones would fishtail around blind corners. They all kicked up a ton of dust. On a weekday maybe there's less traffic and I'm sure it would be great, but if I go again over a weekend I'll bypass that section. Just my opinion.
  19. Jake260

    Jake260 Left lane cruising

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    After reading Cannonshot’s UPAT report and downloading that route, I think I’m going to opt for the eastern half of that this year and save the TransWisconsin for when I have more time. Appreciate the input from everyone
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    News release from the USFS about a large gathering near Delta, WI.

    "The Rainbow Family of Living Light has chosen a site on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest for its 2019 national gathering. The event will coincide with the Fourth of July holiday, and participants have already begun arriving. The forest will experience the highest concentration of visitors during the first week of July. They selected an area near Canthook Lake on the Washburn Ranger District, just outside the community of Delta in Bayfield County, for their gathering.

    The Rainbow Family is a loose-knit group of people from throughout the USA and other countries. Each summer they hold a national gathering to pursue social and spiritual activities and pray for world peace. Since 1972, the event has taken place on a different national forest each year. Crowds range from 2,000 to 10,000 forest visitors."