Almost overnight it seems as though Mother Nature has taken her paint brush to our landscape and turned the lush green of summer into a kaleidoscope of color that is changing daily. Exploring Walworth County on six of the state’s Rustic Roads is a great way to enjoy autumn’s beauty close to home.
Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads were created by the State Department of Transportation over 40 years ago and encompass over 120 highways in 61 counties. All are scenic, lightly traveled roads ideally suited for a slower pace – most have a maximum speed limit of 45 mph. Whether you hop on your bike, jump in the car or take a cruise on a motorcycle, the state’s Rustic Roads won’t disappoint.
Walworth County’s six Rustic Roads, like those in the rest of the state, are marked with brown and yellow signs that indicate their routes with a numerical designation within the total statewide system. Here is a brief description of each of the county’s Rustic Roads and links to maps that outline each route.
Rustic Road 11: This gently winding, 10.3 mile-route is located east of Lake Geneva and offers excellent views of glacial Kettle Moraine topography.
Rustic Road 12: The 5.7 mile-route crosses the White River northeast of Lake Geneva and passes through pine and spruce plantations, a tamarack swamp and several ponds before reaching the village of Lyons.
Rustic Road 29: Known as Snake Road, this 2.7-mile route is on the north shore of Geneva Lake and is one of the most photographed spots in autumn.
Rustic Road 36: This 3.6 mile-road east of Lake Geneva connects with Rustic Roads 11 and 12 and includes Cranberry Road, which got its name from early settlers who harvested cranberries from area marshes.
Rustic Road 85: Located in the Town of Spring Prairie, the 2.5-mile route passes through Nature Conservancy forests and wetlands and runs alongside Sugar Creek.
Rustic Road 120: In the Town of Lafayette, just north of Elkhorn, Peck Station Road runs 2 miles and is adjacent to the 1,200-acre Troy Wildlife Area. The area is especially colorful in autumn.
If you’re up for a road trip beyond Walworth County, check out the state’s 2020 Wisconsin Rustic Roads Guide. The online interactive guide is divided into four regions and provides detailed information and photographs outlining each of the state’s 122 Rustic Roads. Enjoy!