I know its been a while since you posted. But ive rode the TWAT and im planning on riding it again this fall
Not technically a trail its more of a route. The actual TWAT is for Duelsport motorcycles which get to take advantage of Wisconsin's extensive ATV trail system. Jeeps are stuck to public roads. Its a bit rough on the gas budget, at least with my rig, because of the winding roads and low speeds. I think the TWAT route is more than double the miles of what it would be if you took highways. But its something interesting to do at least once.
Ill break it down into 3 parts.
Part 1 - Southern WI:
Big rolling hills (driftless region
), with little quaint main street community's. Paved and gravel roads and some interesting scenery of the hills, valleys and Mississippi river. Basically just a pleasant drive through the country. Watch out for deer!
Part 2 - Central WI:
Terrain flattens out, woods get thick, mostly state forests, Indian reservation land and cranberry farms. Flat land, sandy soil, little to no rocks or mud. Paved, gravel and sand roads. Still pretty, but not much offroad action. Lots of Ticks. In my opinion its the most boring part of the trip.
Part 3 - Northern WI:
Woods get really thick. Towns become few and far between. Its a good mix of paved, gravel, logging and sometimes no road at all. Some of the logging roads are fairly muddy and rutted with large round rocks, but nothing you should get stuck on with a 4x4. Pin striping is unavoidable. Its relatively isolated so watch your fuel level - next town might be 50+ miles away. Mosquitos are the size of a house cat. Bear, wolves and elk also inhabit the area, so you might catch a glimpse. Stop at copper falls state park - its freaking beautiful!
The final bit of the route takes you up to Lake Superior and in my opinion makes the first less than spectacular 2 parts of the TWAT all worth it. You can hop on the nearest highway and head back down towards IL, so the return trip will be faster.
This guys page
has the GPS files (waypoints
) that you can upload into your GPS unit and follow. It will give you a chance to see the trail and plan your trip. http://www.lonewolfexpeditions.com/twatgps.html
also sums it up pretty well, with pics:
Don't forget to stop at the Delta Diner for a cheeseburger and malt.