Wonders of Wisconsin: Explore Rustic Roads near you with new interactive maps

Local News

(WFRV) – While Wisconsin is known for many things such as being “America’s Dairyland”, home to the cheese heads, and a place where tasty beer is only a tap away; People fail to look past these stereotypes and discover all that Wisconsin truly has to offer.

Some of the wonders going unnoticed are the outstanding landscapes located across the Badger State and along its Rustic Road systems just waiting to be explored.

The system, which began over 40 years ago when the first designated Rustic Road was established in Taylor County, offers a route tailored for hikers, bicyclists, and motorists to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the state.

Since then,122 additional Rustic Roads have been added.

What sets these roads apart from all the rest is that they are lightly traveled dirt, gravel, or paved roads offering unique features for the sole purpose of recreational enjoyment. In total, these roadways span 743 miles through 61 counties, including Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, and Waupaca counties.

While travelers are guaranteed breathtaking views along each of these roadways no matter what season or time of day it is, there’s just something about the change in colors during the fall season that makes these roads a bit more vibrant.

And it seems that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) agrees.

WisDOT announced they have launched the geographical information system (GIS) maps just in time for the changing of the leaves. The GIS maps are free interactive maps that allow travelers an easy and quick guide to finding their next adventure on one of these Rustic Roads.

The GIS maps feature the following amenities:

  • Users can zoom in and zoom out.
  • Users can add data layers.
  • Users can print, export and perform other actions to present information to fit their needs.
  • Users will have access to authoritative geographic information systems data.

“Information that is readily available in a clear, useful format serves the public well,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “I applaud the effort to make more of our data available as GIS map layers and encourage our stakeholders to take advantage of this resource. Whether this information helps you take an enjoyable drive along a Rustic Road as the leaves are changing, or it helps inform a business decision, it is here to serve you.”

Now, if you’re already planning your next drive, bike, or hike through one of the Rustic Roads near you, make note of the following tips and tricks to help make your trip a success:

  • You can tell if a road is a designated Rustic Road if it has a unique brown and yellow sign.
    • A small placard beneath the Rustic Roads sign identifies each Rustic Road by its numerical designation within the total statewide system.
  • Travelers should expect to experience rugged terrain and see native vegetation, native wildlife, and agricultural vistas.
  • The maximum speed limit on a Rustic Road has been established by law at 45 mph.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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