10 of the Best Motorcycle Rides in Wisconsin
July 19, 2017
Can you think of a better way to explore the state of Wisconsin than on a motorcycle?
While there are a limited number of months when the weather is right, taking advantage of all the scenic routes around our state should be on every biker’s bucket list. So, whether you’ve got a motorcycle waiting for you in the garage or you’re still dreaming of owning your first Harley, make plans to take all ten of these Wisconsin rides.
(Note: If you think your own bike is just a dream, ask a Unison Member advisor about our competitive motorcycle loans.)
1. The Door County Day Trip
If you live in Northeast Wisconsin, one of the first places you take your motorcycle should be Door County. MotorcycleRoads.us suggests starting at the southern end of the Door Peninsula on Bay Shore Drive and heading up County Highway B through Sturgeon Bay to just north of Egg Harbor.
That’s about a 30-minute ride one way. But, if you want to make an entire day out of it, you could travel around the entire peninsula, heading back south along the lakeside on State Highway 57. Expect lots of natural beauty and plenty of sweeping curves along the way.
2. Kettle Moraine Zig Zag
Just south of the Fox Valley is the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which biker Terry Adams says offers an excellent ride, even if you get a bit lost.
“You really can’t lose because it’s all beautiful scenery,” he says in a post on MotorcycleRoads.com. This area features rock structures formed by two glaciers that crashed into each other millions of years ago.
Adams has a suggested a route that starts west of Sheboygan in the small town of Greenbush. However, he realizes his directions are somewhat confusing and encourages you to explore the area on your own.
3. Milwaukee – Motorcycle Mecca
Every motorcycle lover should journey to the home of Harley-Davidson, no matter what kind of bike you ride. When you’re in the Brew City, you’ll find plenty to do. Of course, you need to schedule a trip to the Harley-Davidson museum where you’ll discover the history behind what’s arguably the most famous thing produced in Wisconsin … after cheese.
Skip interstates 43 and 41 for this trip in favor of the backroads. Road Trip America lays out a route that takes you from Oshkosh, past the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and east towards Milwaukee.
4. The Winding Wolf River
Take State Highway 55 and enjoy this woodsy ride through the Menominee Indian Reservation following the Wolf River.
On MotorcycleRoads.com, Mike H. suggests a route starting in Shawano and taking Hwy 55 north for more than 60 miles. Bikers who’ve taken this trip say there are some nice, sweeping curves and you’ll also spend a little time riding through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
5. A “Driftless” Drive
The Driftless Area, or Paleozoic Plateau, is found in Southwestern Wisconsin as well as parts of Minnesota and Iowa. The region is known for deeply carved river valleys and includes Blue Mound State Park.
Many motorcycle enthusiasts recommend this area for some of the best scenery in the entire state. You’ll find a variety of landscapes, from rocky cliffs and forests to grasslands and the Mississippi River. Check out the website Driftless Destinations to find routes, attractions, dining, and more – all specifically chosen for motorcycle riders.
6. The Maritime Tour
Check out Wisconsin’s lakeshore as you drive through rolling hills along State Highway 42. Travel Wisconsin recommends taking this ride in the autumn to enjoy the fall colors along the coast of Lake Michigan.
7. An Island Destination
If you live in the Fox Cities or Green Bay area, you’ve likely been to Door County more than once. However, too many of us in Northeast Wisconsin forget about the beauty of Bayfield and Ashland counties. A trip to this truly “up north” destination will give you the chance to experience Lake Superior.
You could schedule a visit to see the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and take your bike on the ferry to Madeline Island. That’s the only Apostle Island that has motor vehicles or any type of commercial development.
To help plan your trip, tourism officials from Ashland County have put together a motorcycle tour map. They suggest planning a stay that lasts several days because there is so much to see.
8. Around the Big Lake
Wisconsin’s largest inland lake offers hilly landscapes, farmland, and small towns to explore as you take a trip around Winnebago … just watch out for those lake flies.
Open Road Journey maps out a 200-mile trip that will take you about four hours. However, there are plenty of parks to stop at along the ride if you want to slow things down. Plus, for bikers who are also into racing, the Wisconsin International Raceway isn’t far off the route and, in the summer, you could catch boat races on Lake Winnebago at Menominee Park.
9. The Delta Diner Run
Motorcycles and greasy spoon diners go hand in hand, which is why we’re recommending this Northwestern Wisconsin ride featuring a hidden gem of a restaurant.
The Delta Diner is a fun, retro-style roadside attraction near Iron River where you can get burgers, sandwiches, and a variety of what the establishment describes as “eclectic menu items.” It’s even been featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. This diner proudly proclaims it can be found “at the center of the middle of nowhere.”
Take note … Delta Diner’s hours are 8 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday, and they’re open until around 7 pm on Mondays. So, plan on stopping for lunch or an early dinner, unless you’re looking to have some of their jalapeno pancakes for breakfast.
10. Double Z Along the Fox River
Here’s the perfect starter ride for new motorcycle owners living in the Fox Valley or De Pere area. Travis Van Camp explains that you can start in Kaukauna or De Pere and head north or south on County Roads Z and ZZ hugging the Fox River for a good portion of the route.
He suggests stopping for a burger in Wrightstown. It’s nice to know you don’t have to travel far from home to enjoy the outdoors in Wisconsin.
The Best Thing About Owning a Motorcycle
Of course, one of the most gratifying things about having a motorcycle is the chance to find your own favorite routes. Motorcycles give you the freedom to explore and have adventures on the road.
If owning a motorcycle has been a dream of yours, maybe it’s time to stop fantasizing and move towards making it a reality. Life is too short to be missing out on the exhilarating experience of having the wind at your back as you ride a powerful machine away from all your worries.
Unison Credit Union is here to help you find the road that makes your motorcycle dreams come true. Our motorcycle loans feature competitive rates, and our helpful Member Advisors are waiting to answer all your questions. Visit one of our locations in Kaukauna, Wrightstown, De Pere, Little Chute, or Grand Chute and let’s talk.