Bikepacking The Wisconsin Waterfall Loop (Video)
A few weeks ago, Dwayne and Michelle Allgire drove up to the Great North Woods to tick the Wisconsin Waterfalls Loop off of their long bucket list of bikepacking routes to ride. This was their first time in the area, and they loved experiencing it by bike. Watch the video they made along the spectacular route and find insights from their ride here…
Dwayne and Michelle Allgire from PedalPower Adventures have been steadily checking off routes from our catalog over the past few years. That includes sections of the Eastern Divide Trail, the XWA, Wilson’s Ramble, and the Chauga River Ramble, to name a few. They’ve made videos documenting each trip, a few of which can be found linked in the Further Reading grid at the bottom of the page. Their most recent expedition included a jaunt to the Upper Midwest to ride the Wisconsin Waterfalls Loop. Along the way, they made this video documenting their trip and provided some insight for folks interested in riding this route. Watch it below and read on for a quick recap, a gear list, and some photos from their ride.
Words and photos by Dwayne Allgire
This was the first time we’ve ridden in the Upper Midwest, and it didn’t disappoint. September-October seems like a good time to tackle this adventure as the mosquitoes are pretty much non-existent and the ticks are sleeping. Also, you have a higher chance of seeing the Northern lights this time of the year. Only thing to note, riding this late into the year, some services such as the Lake Superior kayaking are limited, which is why we chose to take an off-route excursion to Red Cliff. Speaking of kayaking, we highly recommend taking the time to experience paddling on Lake Superior, which is available in Red Cliff or Cornucopia (depending on the time of year). If Red Cliff interests you, it works perfectly to divert off the route after Valhalla View cabins to Bayfield, where you can pick up Highway 13 to Red Cliff. There is a nice casino/resort with a campground to stay the night and take the night kayak tour for seeing caves and an old shipwreck. The next morning, continue on Highway 13 and join back up to the route at Siskiwit Falls, south of Cornucopia.
This is an excellent route with zero sketchy paved roads and hardly anyone else on the miles and miles of beautiful gravel roads and grin-inducing singletrack. Don’t get us wrong, though, this route has some short tough sections that will make you work for it, but what good route does not have these character building sections!? The highlight of this route for us is, of course, all of the beautiful waterfalls, plus the unique dive bars and small villages that only the Northwoods of Wisconsin can deliver. The only downside to this route is that all the dive bars, stores, and restaurants need to have longer hours as so many interesting places were closed when we were riding by. Also, allow for extra time for viewing the waterfalls as some are a few additional walking miles. Highly recommend a shorter day and staying at Copper Falls State Park to hike/walk to Copper Falls, Brownstone Falls, Tyler Cascades, Devil’s Gate, and Red Granite Falls.
This was our itinerary on the route:
- Day 1: 69 Miles to Lure Resort and Campground
- Day 2: 76 Miles to Saxon Harbor County park (bring quarter for the showers)
- Day 3: 44 Miles to Copper Falls State Park
- Day 4: 56 Miles to Ashland (Off-route)
- Day 5: 37 Miles to Red Cliff (Off-route)
- Day 6: 78 Miles to Lake Delta Campground
- Day 7: 32 Miles to finish in Cable
- Sony ZV-E10 with Tamron 18-300mm and Sony 15mm prime Lens
- Mavic Mini 3 Pro
- GoPro Hero 11 with shorty stick
- Lightweight Compact Carbon Fiber Tripod
Main Gear List
- Tent: Durston X-Mid 2
- Sleeping Pad: Sea to Summit Etherlight
- Quilt: Revelation 850ST 30 deg
- Sleeping Bag Liner: Sea To Summit
- Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket V2
- Cookset: Sea To Summit X-Pot & X-Mug and cheap Spork
- Water Filter: Sawyer Squeeze + Onoc VECTO 2L bladder
- Handlebar Bag: Revelate Designs Harness + Sea To Summit EVAC 20L Dry Bag. Michele: Revelate Designs Sweet Roll.
- Extra Handlebar Bag: Revelate Designs Egress Pocket (holds Sony camera and lens)
- Cockpit: Revelate Designs Feed Bags and Gas Tank
- Frame Bag: Custom Bedrock Bag. Michele: Revelate Designs Ranger, small
- Rear Rack: Old Man Mountain Divide
- Rear bags: Bedrock Bags Hermosa UL Panniers. Michele: Revelate Designs Nano Panniers V1
- Rear Food Storage: Sea to Summit Dry Sack + Washboard Straps
- Repairs: Complete Bicycle Repair Kit and Tire Pump
- Bicycle GPS: Garmin Edge 1040 Solar. Michele: Garmin 5 Edge 530
- GPS Tracker: Garmin In Reach Mini
- Battery Bank: (2) Nitecore 10,000 mah
- Head Lamp: Nitecore NU43
- Bicycles: 2020 Why Cycles S7
- Tires: 27.5 x 2.8
Long in the works, the Wisconsin Waterfalls Loop takes in 28 waterfalls, several off-the-beaten-path eateries and taverns, and Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods by way of gravel tracks, dirt roads, mountain bike trails, and a little bit of pavement to stitch it all together. Find the full route guide here.
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