When it comes time for you to once again hit the open road on an adventure, there’s a growing trend for exploring the Driftless Area on four wheels: ATV Riding!
In Boscobel, we’re known as Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination due to the availability of all things outdoors in our area. If you’ve been hiking, cycling, camping, canoeing/kayaking, motorcycling, fly fishing, or hunting near us in the past, you already know the natural advantages our location offers between the Mississippi & Wisconsin Rivers.
But unlike any other outdoor activity you’ll find here, ATV/UTV riding has burst on the scene – full throttle! According to the Juneau County Star Times, the Wisconsin ATV-UTV Association has reported that there are over 93,000 registered users in 26 counties located in the southwest part of our state.
More and more people are searching for places to roam free on their quads, and communities like ours are able to oblige. Because of this, on June 11, 2018, the Boscobel City Council voted in favor of welcoming ATV and UTV riders on many of our scenic county and town roadways, which will open up access in a month’s time.
It’s an exciting time to cruise on streets – from winding and open to narrow and intimate – on an exhilarating ATV/UTV in the Driftless Area. But since the sport is still fairly new to our region, we thought it best to provide some insight on how to enjoy riding in our neck of the woods.
Here’s everything you need to know about ATV riding through the picturesque landscapes of Grant County, Wisconsin!
ATVs are small, open-motor vehicles with 1-2 seats, handle bars, and 4 wheels designed to roam over rugged terrain, while UTVs are defined by their commercial design and their possession of a steering wheel, headlights, a roll bar, seat belts, and a dry weight of less than 2,000 lbs.
One difference between the two – aside from their distinct characteristics – is the purpose of each vehicle. ATVs are more often used for rugged and agile trail riding, while UTVs can haul cargo more suitably and maintain a smoother, more comfortable off-road experience.
The most obvious differentiation, however, is cost. ATVs are the more affordable option (generally in the $5,000 to $7,000 range), while UTVs can climb into the $20,000 to $30,000 range, depending on how many accessories are included.
If you aren’t looking to buy, renting is also available nearby.
Riding an off-road vehicle in the Driftless Area is extremely fun, but don’t allow the excitement to get out of hand. Following state laws and local ordinances is essential to a safe and carefree trip in the driver’s seat.
For starters, make sure your four-wheeler is properly registered with the State of Wisconsin to ensure your ATV riding is all thrill and no buzzkill.
Many counties also have restrictions as to the age, speed, and hours deemed acceptable to operate an all-terrain vehicle. For example, Grant County requires all riders to be at least 16 years of age, anyone under 18 must wear a helmet, and open containers are prohibited.
It’s wise to learn these limits, before your ride.
It is also important to display your registration correctly and make sure you have all required paperwork on-hand when taking an off-road vehicle for a spin.
For more information on these things, you can visit the Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (WATVA) website.
Responsible ATV riding is critical to keeping the sport fun, safe, and exciting for everyone. That’s why Wisconsin requires riders to take a basic safety certification course in order to ensure all pertinent information is made available to those out on the roads and trails.
Proper riding gear is also something you’ll want to consider when planning your excursion. There’s nothing like being unprepared in poor weather conditions to put a damper on your outdoor adventure. Luckily, we found this handy guide to ATV/UTV riding gear, including:
Although our scenic county doesn’t have any cross-country trails specifically groomed for ATV riding, we make up for it with a variety of one-of-a-kind county and town roads to explore.
As of March 20, 2018, all of our designated “county roads” are available to ATV/UTV traffic, providing miles and miles of natural countryside to navigate. Taking a laid-back road trip is ideal as there are lots of local motels and lodges just off the beaten path where you can stay and rest up for the next day’s ride.
If you aren’t sure whether the road you’re on is a legal ATV/UTV route, simply follow the designated signage for ATV riding access, which appears as a small sign depicting an off-road vehicle.
If you encounter a sign with a strike through the image, this means you’ve gone off course, but that’s ok. Simply be extra careful in watching for cars, and find your nearest approved access road to turn onto.
“Some of my favorite rides in Grant County include Dry Hollow, Sandy Hollow, and Good-Nuf Hollow Roads near Cassville, as well as Dugout Road near Glen Haven. The natural twists and turns along the Mississippi River are magical!
For a longer trip, you can actually get from those areas all the way up through Boscobel and Blue River taking the right roads. That would be an amazing ride!” – Judy Hazen, President of Grant County ATV/UTV Alliance
Perfect for families, groups of friends, and couples to explore the breathtaking landscape and quaint towns throughout the Driftless Area, ATV riding is an exhilarating way to travel and experience a natural road trip.
If you’re in need of an extreme getaway that’s both restful and entertaining, come visit us! Boscobel is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. We’re famous for our picturesque farm and river roads, beautiful bluffs, rippling streams, and charming valleys.
You may just discover for yourself why they call us Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination!