The Making of Juneau County Rustic Road 121

Rustic Road Signage  Juneau County Rustic Road Lee Rd turn in roadJuneau County Rustic Road Lee Rd in Winter You’re taking a leisurely country drive in Wisconsin and happen upon a Rustic Road Sign. If you’re anything like me, it is NOT to be resisted. You take the turn and it seldom disappoints. Juneau County with all its incredible natural beauty hasn’t had a designation– UNTIL NOW! The first Juneau County Rustic Road route designation has been awarded and it definitely does NOT disappoint.

You have the opportunity to travel the route before the signs go up. Be the first of your friends to talk it up and love it up. And yes, Wisconsinites, be proud! It’s beautiful. Rustic Road #121, on the eastern edge of the Driftless Area, overlooks the hills and valleys of Plymouth and Fountain Townships. Hills, bluffs, and ridges make up this rugged terrain that was once bypassed by the glaciers. Breathtaking vistas of iconic Wisconsin farmland and pastures can be seen across the foothills of the Ocooch Mountains.

Lee Road, in Elroy, curves and turns and curves some more. It winds it’s way northward lending memorable views at both sunrise and sunset. Summer canopies of trees are breathtaking in fall. The high elevation has you perched on top of the world, often looking down on valleys of mists and fog.

Drive it by car or motorcycle. Bike it or hike it. Just enjoy it. It is a photographer’s delight! Here’s the link to the map route which is just 13 miles west of Mauston, WI.

Please, though,  do not stop at just Lee Road. All the roads in the area lead to some spectacular sights. Tunnel Hill Road is not to be missed. (It was our first considered route but was unfortunately flooded out at the time). Town Shop Road is beautiful. Drive Highway H to find the bridge. Count the steeples on Highway S/Church Road.

The Rustic Roads program was created over 40 years ago by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to provide hikers, bicyclists and motorists an opportunity to leisurely travel through the state’s scenic countryside. Today, there are 120 designated Rustic Roads (NO, make that 121!) spanning more than 724 (now 727!) miles through 59 (60!) counties. They are beautiful in every season.

Every Rustic Road is unique. It may be dirt, gravel or paved, one-way or two-way. But they all have outstanding natural features, are lightly traveled, local access roads and at least two miles long.

Many of those local to Juneau County have traveled Lee Road and come to know it’s beauty. A few might be thinking a better, more beautiful route was overlooked. Well . . . GOOD! Let us know what it is. More routes are in the planning. Just remember it must be at least 2 miles long and lightly traveled-  no yellow lines, no highways or county trunks. Click here and tell us about the route you have in mind. Or upload a photograph from Rustic Road #121.

Follow these links for more information or to discover more Rustic Roads.

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Your Friends from Mauston

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