The Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail is a route which begins just north of Galena, IL, traveling through the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin along curved country roads and gravel trails crisscrossing this beautiful part of the state. The area is dotted with small towns, winding streams and isolated forests.
The route then crosses the Mississippi River briefly entering into eastern Iowa and following the river north and crossing back over into Wisconsin at LaCrosse. Heading northeast, the trail traverses through Wisconsin’s Northwoods Region covering varied terrain including paved/dirt roads, two track and single track consisting of gravel, rock, grass and sand.
The Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail arrives 650 miles, and 2 ½ days, later at the shores of Lake Superior. Primary lodging will be at hotels along the route. Riders also have the option of camping at the many spots along the way.
For this ride we will be running the route backwards from North to South, beginning in Cornucopia, WI and finishing in Galena, IL
The plan is for riders to meet in Cornucopia, WI likely at the Fo’c’sle Inn On Thursday evening, July 2nd. We will head out on Friday morning, the 3rd, turning south into Northern Wisconsin, through the town of Clam Lake, cross Chequamegon National Forest before spending the night in Medford, WI. Saturday we continue south across the west central part of the state. We will have the option of exploring the Clark County ORV system before crossing Wildcat Mountain and entering the Driftless region of Wisconsin. We will spend the night in Soldiers Grove. Sunday we head west to the Mississippi River, crossing the river into Iowa. After exploring the forests of the Hawkeye State, we cross back over the Big Muddy into Wisconsin making our way to the Illinois border and Galena. We should arrive in Galena around mid-afternoon giving everyone time to make their way homeward bound.
$400 – Double Occupancy
$580 – Single Occupancy
$200 – Camping
Fee includes guided tour, lodging in Cornucopia, Medford and Soldier’s Grove, dinner on the first evening in Cornucopia and breakfast each morning of the ride.
July 3, 2020
July 5, 2020
Meet in Cornucopia, WI on Thursday July 2nd. Dinner and discuss ride specifics.
Cornucopia to Medford, WI (250 Miles)
We will leave Cornucopia and spend the day in the varied off road terrain of Northern Wisconsin. There will be some sand as we make our way away from Lake Superior. One of the highlights of the day will be stopping at the famous Delta Diner for breakfast. We will then continue south towards Clam Lake and we will explore the trails and forest roads of Chequemegon National Forest and Flambeau State Forest. We finish up the day with an overnight stay in Medford, WI.
Medford to Soldier’s Grove, WI (250 Miles)
The day will start with breakfast in Medford. This day of the Trans Wisconsin Discovery Route features about 80% off road through gravel, sand, water crossings, single track and ORV trails. You will need to obtain Wisconsin ORV trail permits to ride these sections. Otherwise, you will need to bypass these sections on blacktop. We will spend the night at Soldier’s Grove having dinner this evening.
Soldier’s Grove to Galena, IL (125 Miles)
We will leave Soldier’s Grove and ride rural back roads of southwestern Wisconsin. This area is called the Driftless area. It is the part of the state where the glaciers stopped leaving this part of the state with beautiful, forested rolling hills. About 50% of this day will be pavement, but twisty and picturesque. The off road portion features forested roads connecting quaint Wisconsin towns. The route follows the Mississippi River in both Wisconsin and Iowa crossing at Prairie du Chein and La Crosse. We will finish the day, and the trip, in Galena, IL by mid-afternoon giving riders plenty of time to make their way home.
What Bike Should I Ride:
Any bike can manage the TWAT. Smaller dual sport bikes will handle the off road sections best but will be limited during highway miles and the ability to carry gear. Mid-sized bikes such as the KLR 650 do very well on the TWAT. Larger Adventure Type motorcycles can also do well with an experienced rider.
What Type of Tires Should I Use:
At least 50:50 type tires such as Heidenau K60 Scouts or MotoZ Tractionator GPS. But more aggressive tires would be better such as Continental TKC 80s, MotoZ Tractionator Adventure or MotoZ Tractionator Rallz.
How About Gas:
Ideally you should get at least 75 mile range. This should be fine for most ADV bikes but smaller bikes may consider carrying extra fuel such as in a Rotopax.
How Difficult is the Terrain:
It can vary with the weather as recent rains can drastically increase the difficulty with mud becoming more of a factor. Some sections have significant sand stretches, particularly sections of the ORV trails, such as Clark County.
What About Carrying Luggage:
The options are using hard panniers or soft bags. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Hard cases offer security and protection of valuable equipment such as cameras. But a fall risks getting a leg trapped under a case and a hard impact can be transferred to the sub frame and damage it. Soft bags are not as secure but have a reduced risk of injury or damage to the bike. Personally, I have tried both and use soft luggage (Mosko Moto 35L Expedition bags) now.
Is Camping an Option:
It is. There are places to camp on the route but for the tour we will be staying at hotels along the way.
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Emmaus MotoTours requires a 30% USD non-refundable deposit at time of booking.
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