The Chequamegon Area is heavily forested and sparsely populated. Throughout the region a network of well-maintained gravel roads links numerous small communities and provides connections between county and state highways. Among these roads is a system of numbered Forest Roads in the National Forest. Many of these roads are town roads and maintained by the respective townships. In as much as these roads comprise much of the local transportation grid, they see regular maintenance and are usually in very good condition.
Deep forests, wildlife viewing areas, spectacular natural attractions, and numerous lakes and streams are to be found along the way. Because they do interconnect small communities and link between other roads, they do see traffic, but depending on the route, it is generally quite light.
The gravel riding scene in the Chequamegon is rapidly growing as visitors discover this alternative to paved roads and the different experience it engenders. Route finding is relatively easy thanks to a couple excellent resources. The CAMBA Area Map highlights many popular gravel routes that fall within the general footprint of our trail system. Rideable gravel routes are denoted by a solid blue line on the Area Map. The U.S. Forest Service also publishes an excellent, detailed map of the area that includes virtually every driveable road. The map also includes other roads that may be more of a two-track or woods road in character, but many of these along with some snowmobile and ATV routes may provide additional connecting options, although a fatter tired bike might be in order. You may purchase a copy of this map at Forest Service offices in Hayward, Glidden, Washburn or Park Falls as well as area chambers of commerce.
In many areas cell phone coverage is limited. You may or may not be able to rely on a cell phone based GPS app.
For the adventure-minded, and those who don’t mind carrying a little extra gear, there’s the Tour de Chequamegon. Read about it here. This bike packing gravel tour starts in Cable and traverses the big woods of the Chequamegon to the Moose Lake Campground where the group spends the night and returns to Cable the next day. To learn more visit: http://www.ridefyxation.com/the-ride – the-ride-2.
For the competitively minded, there are a couple of organized gravel events in the Chequamegon Area. The Hungry Bear 100 is a 100 mile (with a 60 mile counterpart), self-supported gravel race that starts finishes in downtown Cable. For more information, visit: www.hungrybear100.org. Presented by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, a new event, the Gravel Gran Fondo will debut October 16, 2017 and follow the same 102 mile route as the Tour de Chequamegon with shorter 75- and 35-mile options. For more information, visit http://www.bfw.org/.
One of the best resources for learning more about gravel riding in CAMBA country is the Chequamegon Gravel Facebook page compiled by local gravel enthusiasts that includes route recommends and other insights.