Dual-Sport Motorcycle Trails of Oconto County, Wisconsin
By Dean S. Acheson
Dual-sport motorcycling has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and in response, trails are being developed to serve that segment of outdoor enthusiasts.
For those in the dark about that type of two-wheel machine, a dual-sport (dual-purpose) motorcycle somewhat bridges the street and off-road categories. Generally, a dual-sport motorcycle is one that is street legal and can be ridden off-road as well.
Riders of dual-sport motorcycles will find miles of related adventure trails in Oconto County. Be aware that some forest roads that are part of the routes below don’t open until early May. For more information, visit ocontocounty.org.
Northern Wisconsin Adventure Trail
The Northern Wisconsin Adventure Trail (NWAT) is a 950-mile dual-sport motorcycle route that loops through the forests of northern Wisconsin.
The route can be followed by using a GPS file that is available for download at the web link listed above for this ride. There is also a link at the download site that leads to more details about the ride including distances between gas stops and interesting places to visit along the route. There are many photographs along with the details so that riders can get an idea of what the surfaces and terrain are like along the route.
It will take four to six days to complete this ride. Camping, lodging, and restaurants are available along the route. There are many two-track and trail segments on this path. Riders should be sufficiently skilled to navigate off-highway paths. For more information, call 262-569-1474.
Lakewood Area Adventure Motorcycle Path
This 100-mile path is intended for adventure or dual-sport motorcycles. It traverses scenic natural and historic sites in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the area around Lakewood. You can visit scenic lakes and streams, logging camps, and old-growth pines, and climb a forest lookout tower. With stops to take in the scenery, this ride will take most of the day.
Begin your ride anywhere on the loop, but a good place to start is at the National Forest Ranger Station, about 1/2 mile south of Lakewood on Hwy. 32. While there, pick up brochures about the forest that will complement your riding experience.
Contributing writer Dean S. Acheson is a Wisconsin native with a long career in newspaper and magazine writing and editing. He considers himself semi-retired and enjoys fishing, scuba diving, snowmobiling, photography, and, of course, travel. “I’ve been blessed with traveling throughout Wisconsin and the UP, seeing the diverse communities, taking in the festivals, chatting with the locals, and hiking the trails.”
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