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Governor Scott Walker announced the designation of two new Rustic Roads in the state: Rustic Road 116 (R-116) in St. Croix County and Rustic Road 117 (R-117) in Waushara County.
R-116, also known 140th Avenue, is a paved road spanning 2.2 miles that begins at County A and ends at 120th Street. Travelers on R-116 will see oak trees interspersed with wetlands and agricultural vistas. Ten Mile Creek parallels the road for much of its length providing travelers with water views. Several publicly-owned wildlife areas devoted to waterfowl production and habitat protection make R-116 a popular destination for waterfowl viewing.
R-117 is a tree-lined route interspersed with views of the Pine River where wildlife abounds. This 1.8 mile paved and gravel stretch starts at County W and encompasses Portage Street, Portage Road and Covered Bridge Road from 26th Road to County A. Travelers may see eagles, sandhill cranes, geese, turkey, ducks and deer, as well as a Class Three trout stream. Several historic buildings are located along the route including the town hall, post office, historic homes and a keystone bridge. The Jefferson Davis Bell, a Civil War relic, is found there too. R-117 features a covered bridge that provides access to Covered Bridge Park, a wonderful place for visitors to walk and explore.
Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads Program was started more than 40 years ago. It was created in 1973 to preserve scenic, lightly-traveled country roads for the leisurely enjoyment of bikers, hikers and motorists. Rustic Roads range from under two miles to 37 miles in length and have a maximum speed limit of 45 miles per hour. Unique brown and yellow signs mark the routes of all officially designated Rustic Roads. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation oversees the Rustic Roads program; however, the roads remain under local government jurisdiction.
With the addition of R-116 and R-117, the state’s system now includes nearly 667 miles of Rustic Roads through 59 counties. For more information on the Rustic Roads Program, including details on obtaining a free Rustic Roads travel guide, visit the WisDOT web (www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/scenic/rusticroads.htm).