Travel does not always have to be to an exotic location once a year, or once a lifetime. The benefits of trying something new by traveling close-to-home can be just as restorative, rewarding, and accomplishable in a weekend.
With that, we introduce ~ Scouting Notes. It has always been our desire with äventyr to share knowledge, inspire, and motivate. Scouting Notes is our personal journal notating our just-lived-experiences from bicycle travel. Our notes on the bicycle routes we took, campground sites we liked, places we ate, etc. Consider us as your personal scouting team, we are doing the homework so you can easily go have fun! ~ DeAnn & Kurt
Scouting Notes: Cable, WI and Two Lakes Campground:
The weekend after Labor Day we travelled with our camper, and our bicycles to the heart of the North Woods for 3 days steeped in nature.
- Travel Time: Just over 3 hours from Minneapolis (more if you stop for ice cream and cheese ~ hey it IS Wisconsin (see below)!
- Benefits: Scenic - trees were just starting to turn (and there are A LOT of them), MN Wildlife as you know it from sporting teams (Loons on the lake calling at night, and a WOLF! YES! On our second morning gravel ride we saw a full-on Wolf crossing the road in front of us!), Lakeside Camping, Cyclist friendly.
- On-site Campground Hosts who take care in maintaining a tidy campground; clean sites, clean fire pits, well maintained grounds.
Our call for Best Sites: 58, 59, 65 (our site this trip), 66, 67 (shown in that order above). In our opinion the best side of the two lakes, these campsites all feature lake views and are located on higher ground (i.e. not in a mosquito bog).
- Clean (and as good smelling as it can get - honestly) vault toilet bathrooms! There are multiple facility locations to adequately accommodate campers.
- Dump Station
- Skeeter Rating: 5 Skeeters in early Summer (We have to be honest here. We went right after a hatch in June and it was your worst mosquito nightmare - be sure to bring a bug-proof tent if you want to sit outside during this time of year. Stopping the bike during the Borah Epic meant instant mosquito swarm.). 1 Skeeter after Labor Day - our favorite time to travel (Luckily, in early September we only saw the occasional mosquito, had no bites, were able to be outside without bug spray, and although we set up our bug screen tent, we didn't use it once during our 2 night stay).
This area is VERY cycling friendly. The smoothly paved roads off the main highways are a delight to ride compared to Minneapolis, and the gravel is divine. In addition, there are multiple cycling friendly events hosted in this area throughout the year. While we were visiting, they were setting up for the Chequamegon MTB Festival ~ which is this weekend. Our visit in June was for the Borah Epic. And the Fat Bike Birkie is coming up next March.
Additionally see places to eat/things to do below.
We went on two exploratory rides during our visit. We brought our Trek Crockett Bicycles which are the perfect travel bike as they are multi-terrain capable and sometimes you find yourself on a paved road ride when you thought your route would be on gravel...
- Paved Route. We had hoped we would hit some gravel on this route, but it turned into a road ride. That's OK as it was a lovely ride with very little traffic, great scenery, and the roads were smooth as butter. Link to Strava route here.
- Gravel Route. This was our absolute favorite route of the trip. Ignore our little detour down FR 376, the road was closed and we had to turn around. Link to Strava route here.
Places to Eat & Things To Do:
- Tilly's Pies. Run by cyclist Trudi Rebsamen, who served us our slice. Trudi has an impressive dossier as a sougenier and cyclist. Tilly's is named in honor of Trudi's partner Steve Tilford (R.I.P.)
- The Rivers Eatery/Ideal Market. Not only the best (and only?) pizza place in town, but really great pizza! Bicycles hanging from the ceiling, cyclists eating, and we are sure ~ cyclists making and serving. This is such a comfy, restful, welcoming space with good food and good beer. A must stop place while you are in the area. Large, dog friendly, area for outdoor eating when the weather is nice.
- Redbery Books. To get to The Rivers Eatery, you can walk through Redbery. They have a good edited selection of books perfect for your campground downtime.
- Burnett Dairy. This is a must-stop on the way to and from Cable. We load up on our happy hour cheese and have an ice cream cone on the way up, and have to always get another ice cream cone on the way home. Restrooms and dog 'rest' area available.
- Mountain biking: We do not mountain bike, but there are a lot of CAMBA trails available in the area.
- American Birkebeiner Museum. We have not been, but it looks like a nice facility in the town of Cable.