Wisconsin Rustic Roads by Motorcycle

Published Thursday, December 1, 2022 by Bryan

Wisconsin is my new home. Maybe someday I'll write something about why and how, as my experience points to these being the first two questions I get. But for now I just want to share something I enjoyed about this state this year: the Rustic Roads program.

A Wisconsin Rustic Road, "has outstanding natural features ..., is lightly traveled ..., is not scheduled for major improvements." Essentially, they're cute backroads, designated to remain as such. They travel through a wide variety of terrain, often passing by historic landmarks. They're every kind of road surface. There are 123 of them throughout the state.

And the Department of Transportation will send you a patch and/or printed certificate if you ride a certain number of them on a motorcycle.

Since they're all over the state, most people live within an easy drive of one. I'm lucky to be just a few minutes from two, and within an hour of a few more. After trying out my local routes, I knew I wanted to ride more. As of Autumn 2022's first snow accumulation, I've ridden 42, more than enough to earn my patch.

The Rustic Roads patch sewn onto my riding jacket's sleeve.

It was a load of fun. There were smooth twisties, technical gravel, ferry rides, day trips, overnights, warm sunshine, cold wind, friendly strangers - everything that makes motorcycle travel great. I'm already looking forward to more next season.

But while I wait, I want to share this past season's experience with you! My motorcycle has two cameras recording whenever it's running. That means I have footage of every Rustic Road I've ridden so far. Starting today, and running for the next several weeks, I'll be releasing that footage on YouTube.

The introduction to the series is at the start of this post, and the first county's video is my next post. If you enjoyed them, please consider adding my RSS feed to your reader, subscribing to my YouTube channel, or following me on Mastodon to get notifications when I release new videos. If you know someone else that might enjoy it, please share links with them.

I've also built a page on this site to track my progress and organize the videos. If you're planning a trip somewhere in Wisconsin, click "WI Rustic Roads" in the menu bar, and see if I've recorded the routes in the area, to get an idea of what you'll find. More information about equipment I'm using, and other frequently asked questions are on that page as well.

Enjoy, and I hope to see you on the roads next season!

Categories: Motorcycle Travel WIRR