Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Mapping & Navigation > GPS Tracks - Central, Texas & Gulf States
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 28 votes, 4.96 average. Display Modes
Old 02-25-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
Cannonshot OP
Having a Nice Time
Cannonshot's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Oddometer: 20,742
Wisconsin-Michigan Dual Sport Adventure

Some people have been looking for some more loop type dual sport rides so I put one together that covers some great riding in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The route runs about 2,050 miles and can be ridden in segments. Different segments are suited for different kinds of bikes. More on that in a bit.

There are plenty of fuel and camping spots on the route. I added those as waypoints to make your individual planning a little easier.

The segment across southern Wisconsin is derived from some tracks I posted some time ago. Since most of the southern part of the state is paved, I relied on a large section of former railroad grade ORV trail and a string of rustic roads to keep it entertaining. In fact, if you ride the southern segment and take your photo in front of each Rustic Road sign, you can be awarded a patch from the WI DOT.

You can download a pamphlet that covers the Rustic Roads in Wisconsin.

To ride the railroad grade on this segment you will need a Tri-County Trails permit. You will also have to do the usual checking on whether the trail is open or not.

Part of the southern section runs through the beautiful Kettle Morraine area of southeast Wisconsin. Enjoy the unique topography and lakes on your ride.

The southern section can be ridden on a big bike with ease (except for the potential for whoops on the ORV trail).

Rather than force a route through northern Illinois and Indiana, and up southern Michigan, I opted for the ferry crossings. This eliminates a lot of less satisfying travel miles to get around Chicago and the southern tip of Lake Michigan.

The high speed ferry is much like riding an airliner. You tie down your own bike using their tie-downs. It takes a couple of hours to cross. Ferry information is at .

A thread that has more information on taking the high speed ferry is here:

Personally, I prefer the larger coal-fired ferry. It is a better maritime experience, but takes twice as long to cross. SS Badger information is at .

On this ship, you supply your own tie-downs. You tie down to floor grates in the hold of the ship.

More info about riding this ship can be found in this thread: .

Once you land in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, you will ride a route from your landing (Muskegon or Ludington) to a point that gets you back to a single trail. Both routes are good to ride.

From Muskegon.

From Ludington.

As a side note, if you are curious about some of what you might see along the way when hooking up with these ferries, check out some sections of this thread: . If you have time to spend while waiting for the ferry in Manitowoc, try to visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum - well worth the visit.

With the exception of the Tunnel of Trees, the riding in the lower peninsula is best suited for a medium sized dual sport bike. There is a lot of sand, two-track, and a little bit of trail. I can't tell you if some sections are "difficult" or not because that is subjective - it depends on your skill and your bike. I can offer a thread with some other's experiences that you can read and judge for yourself.

In my opinion the LP segment is the probably the best ride of this whole loop.

A good portion of the lower peninsula route is taken from the tracks that the Great Lakes Dual Sporters published at no charge for all to use. You do not have to be a member to benefit from these tracks (although membership to this fine organization is only $10 so why wouldn't someone join just to endorse such great initiatives). Many thanks to GLDS and 2TrakR on this forum for their contribution to this route!

This segment takes on a neat section of pavement called the "Tunnel of Trees".

It also crosses the Mackinac Bridge.

The Upper Peninsula ride is probably the second best segment on this loop. It is a little easier to ride than the lower peninsula section and could be ridden on a larger dual sport. There is some troublesome sand in a spot or two but that could be avoided if you planned a go-around. Much of this route is based on part of the CannonTrek route in the UP with some adjoining RR ORV trails and some forest and rural roads.

The Highwater Truck Trail on this segment can be sandy and troublesome.

While near Ashland, you may want to visit the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.

To get a feel for the riding in the eastern UP, take a look at Days 2 and 3 from this ride report: .

The west section of this loop connects to the Trans-Wisconsin Adventure Trail that rokklym laid out.

This segment is about 550 miles and could be ridden on a larger adventure bike. There are some soft sand roads along the route. The route includes scenic rural and forest roads, a segment of ATV trail, and some scenic roads in the driftless area and along the Mississippi River. Much of the route is gravel based.

Here is a thread that gives more information and pictures about riding this segment.

When I prepared the GPS track files for both the TWT and the rest of the Wisconsin-Michigan Dual Sport Adventure (WMDSA), I added camping and gas spots as waypoints. I also added the Rustic Roads as waypoints to assist you in scoring a patch from the WI DOT. I also added historical markers along the route. If you want to read the markers ahead of time, click on the waypoint and go to "Waypoint Properties". In waypoint properties are specific road directions to the marker and a URL that will take you to a picture of the marker so you can read it ahead of time.

When I put together the TWT GPS tracks, I made 10 tracks of less than 250 points each. I revised that file so that it got down to five tracks of no more than 500 points each. The rest of the track segments for the WMDSA are close to (but less than) 500 points each. With the change I made to the TWT, we are down to about 14 track segments and 190 waypoints. Most modern GPS units that accept tracklines as tracks will easily accommodate this.

As usual, the tracklines are intended to be used at a scale of .2-.3 miles. Due to the length and off-highway nature of this route, tracks have been drawn somewhat loosely. A reasonably skilled GPS user will have no problem navigating solely by the trackline.

Since some of the Michigan segments of this trail use ORV trails, you will need to purchase a Michigan ORV permit for $16.25 to ride the Michigan segments of the WMDSA.

These can be purchased on-line (to get a durable decal) or a places where they sell hunting licenses (to get a printed decal).

The cost in the past was $16.25, but I'm not sure what it will be when the new year starts in March.

Here is an interactive map to use to take a sattelite tour of the route. Zoom in as you please to do a map recon.

Ride a significant portion of the WMDSA and you'll qualify for a ride sticker.

PM me once your are done and I'll send you one.

I added a bunch of "down home" cafes that were along the route. They are waypoints in the file.

I picked them out of the book Cafe Wisconsin.

I kind of zip through these things (with long days) so my own pace would be about a week. When we group ride in the UP we usually run about 285 miles per day, including tourist stops. Some of the many people that have run that with me can comment on whether that is a reasonable pace for the average guy or not. For part of the lower peninsula track, that pace would be knocked down quite a bit. The segment across the southern part of the state could be done in a single day (but keep in mind that the Tri-County Trail has a radar enforced 30 mph speed limit).

It would be safe to plan for 8-9 days for most people. Some sections will be slower and some will be faster.

Once attachments are back in business, I will post the track here. Until then, PM me an e-mail address that takes attachments and I will send it to you. The file contains the entire route, including the TWT section that rokklym worked up, so only one contact will get you the entire route.

More info/comments in this thread:

Download these tracks from another site by clicking here.

Cannonshot screwed with this post 04-05-2010 at 03:03 PM
Cannonshot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2009, 07:02 PM   #2
Cannonshot OP
Having a Nice Time
Cannonshot's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Oddometer: 20,742
Big Bike Riding

One you get into this a bit, you will see that the Wisconsin portions of the route can be ridden on a big dual sport bike.

Here are some other threads that offer routes that could be used to loop some of the Wisconsin sections.

Dubuque to Bayfield

Bayfield to Beloit

Kenosha to Bayfield

Return routes as related to the WMDSA and TWT.

Cannonshot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2009, 06:46 AM   #3
psycho klr
Qu'est-ce Que C'est
psycho klr's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: South Central, Wisconsin, Not da udder one
Oddometer: 2,503
I just want to say thanks to Cannonshot for providing all of this great information. I have been trying to find good info on dual sport rides in Wisconsin and the U.P. without much luck until I happened on one of your threads about the U.P. trip.
Now I just have to figure out how to get all of this onto the Magellan I got for Christmas.
Another god damned noob

psycho klr screwed with this post 02-27-2009 at 06:01 AM
psycho klr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Grand Rapids / Cheboygan / Vanderbilt, MI
Oddometer: 5
Great post, I assume you left out the rest of the MCCCT to keep it simple? I remember you had a longer blurb about it before. If you wanted to add some side-trips to the route, Silver Lake State Park (sand dune riding south of Ludington), Black Mountain Recreation Area (trails and sand southeast of Cheboygan), and the trails near Deer Park would all be worth exploring. MI does have some decent riding, eh?
froej25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2009, 02:59 PM   #5
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Green Bay, WI
Oddometer: 768
Canon, this looks awesome, thanks a lot for posting. I don't know when I'll have time or a riding buddy to do the whole loop but someday I'll give it a shot.
'03 ktm 640a
thechickencow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Tacoma, WA
Oddometer: 57
WI rides

I plan to tour WI in a couple weeks so thanks for the great report and maps.
RainierDOG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2009, 03:19 PM   #7
No longer a "Wanna Be"
NorWis's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Oddometer: 264
Mapsource routes or tracks

I am new to the advrider site and have been thrilled reading all of the information here. A giant thank you to all!

I am from Northern Wisconsin and have enjoyed our areas for riding ATV's but haven't had much time to enjoy the dual sport aspect until now.

I read about a the TWT (or TWAT) and some variations others have made. Would it be possible for someone to send me the tracks? I commute to work on a thumper everyday and would love to take a ride on some trails or more rustic roads.

Thanks again for all the work on these tracks and I hope to be able to contribute some addtional!

NorWis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
Crosscut Certified
BENRON's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Schleisingerville
Oddometer: 3,677
On my list for 2010
BENRON is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2010, 08:41 PM   #9
Cannonshot OP
Having a Nice Time
Cannonshot's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Oddometer: 20,742
Files Available for Download Again

These tracks are now available again for download. Many thanks to fellow ADVer deputyjones who offered some server space.

Go to and you will see a directory of folders that contain the files. You should be able to choose the proper directory without much trouble. The individual files will have names that are the same as or similar to the file names listed when the files were hosted on ADV.

The files are listed as .zip files. If you left click/open the file, you will open it in your computer's temporary internet directory. Depending on how you have your computer set up, clicking on the .gpx will open the file with Mapsource so you can look at it. Remember, it is in your temporary internet files.

To save the file in one of your neatly filed directories, "left click/save" or "right click/save target as" and put it where you want to keep it.

Some of the files have an associated spreadsheet file with points of interest (Black Hills, Pony Express, etc). Same procedures apply.

Happy to have quick and easy access to these files again.
Cannonshot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
Cannonshot OP
Having a Nice Time
Cannonshot's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Oddometer: 20,742
I can upload GPX to ADV again so here is the file.

Downloaded 288 times from this site:
Attached Files
File Type: gpx WMDSA A.gpx (522.0 KB, 83 views)
Cannonshot is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015