WI Rustic Roads: Florence County, R74

Published Wednesday, April 10, 2024 by Bryan

I've been saving Florence county. It was hanging out up there all last season, unrecorded while I visited every county around it. It has only one Rustic Road - number 74. It's the second longest at 32.5 miles. And it's almost entirely unpaved.

So right after getting 3,700 miles of varied experience riding the BMW, I made the trek. And I do mean trek. R74 really feels like the most remote of the Rustic Roads. Iron Mountain, Michigan isn't that far away, but if you're approaching from the Wisconsin side, you've been passing through, at most, small towns for hours. The only other Rustic Road that compares, in my opinion, is R34 in Forest county, and R74 is the Rustic Road closest to it.

It was also cold that day. It was June, and it was below 50°F. I was glad I had packed a thermos of coffee. Which reminds me of a tip: there is a veterans memorial on the eastern end, where Morgan Lake Road crosses Memory Lane about a half mile west of WI-101. It's just out of frame to the right of the stop sign at 31:55 in the video. There is a covered area with picnic tables and a public restroom. A perfect place for that coffee and a snack.

The road itself is a loop, with a connection to WI-139 on the west edge, and WI-101 on the east edge. If you only have time for half of it, I think I'd suggest the southern route. It's the longer side, and I think it also has more picturesque bridges and scenery. The northern route, seems to be where most of the campgrounds are.

With this video, I've completed the northeast quadrant of Rustic Roads. I'm pretty excited about that. There is some great riding in this region, from the adventure of R74 to the cozy curves of R60 in Vilas County, or the ferry ride to R119 on Washington Island. I've had a great time exploring.

Categories: Motorcycle Travel WIRR