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Wisconsin Adds Two New Rustic Roads PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 15 April 2024 10:21

road-rusticLightly traveled routes feature Northwestern forests, Southeastern rural history.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), today announced two new additions to the Rustic Roads Program, which features lightly traveled scenic routes throughout the state.

tony-evers“Since its inception in 1973, the Rustic Roads Program has encouraged folks to get outside and enjoy scenic routes in every corner of the state,” said Gov. Evers. “No matter where you go or what season you travel, Wisconsin’s rustic roads underscore the rich history of our state and highlight the vast and vibrant natural resources that we are working hard to preserve for future generations to enjoy.”

One new route, Rustic Road 125, is a mix of pavement and gravel for 9.4 miles near the American Birkebeiner Trail in Northwestern Wisconsin’s forests. The other addition, Rustic Road 126, crosses Honey Creek in Walworth County and passes what was once a one-room schoolhouse. In total, the 126 Rustic Road routes span approximately 760 miles in 61 counties.

“These two new additions to the Rustic Roads program are at opposite ends of the state—one passes under the dense canopy of our Northwoods, the other crosses Southeastern Wisconsin’s rich farmland near one of the state’s early schoolhouses,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. “In both cases, local communities nominated these routes to offer something special, and on behalf of all of us who enjoy a path less traveled, we thank them for their collaboration.”

oad-rustic-signR-125, which is comprised of Telemark Road and Spider Lake Fire Lane, curves along hilly, glaciated country through Bayfield County and Sawyer County Forests. The Namekagon River and a network of trails for mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and all-terrain vehicles cross the route.

R-126, which runs along Bell School Road and a portion of Hillburn Mill Road, features sweeping agricultural vistas, preserved farms, and woodlots. The nearby Honey Creek Streambank Protection Area offers 251 public acres for hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, birding, and cross-country skiing. Bell School No. 7, originally a one-room schoolhouse, is on the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory.

Rustic roads range from two miles to 37 miles in length and have a maximum speed limit of 45 miles per hour. Unique brown and yellow signs mark the routes of all officially designated rustic roads.

WisDOT oversees the Rustic Roads Program; however, the roads remain under local government authority.

Additional information about the Rustic Roads Program and the nomination process is available here.

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