Milwaukee City Escape

Text: Bruce Currie • Photography: Bruce Currie

When the glaciers melted, they left the area north and west of Milwaukee with gouged and rolling terrain. These glacial kettles and drumlins make for twisting and undulating backroads. This trip on two-lane roads through the Kettle Moraine State Forest is best attempted between mid-May and mid-September.

Length 

Approximately 125 miles 

Meet-up Spot

The Sawmill Inn, 1729 Wolf Rd,
Richfield, WI 

Lunch Stop

Enjoy homemade American-style dishes with hearty portions at Lynn’s Creekside Bar & Grill. Find it at N1439 Hwy 28, Batavia, WI, (920) 994-4582. Open Wednesday through Sunday only. 

Scenery (3 out of 5)

Landscape varies from farmland to deep forest to glacial ponds, marshes, and lakes. 

Traffic (2 out of 5)

On summer weekends, two-wheeled traffic on Hwy 167 (Holy Hill area) and in the Dundee area (Hwy 67) can be very heavy with Harley groups and tours. Road America events can create traffic in Plymouth. 

Difficulty (4 out of 5)

Hwy 167 near Holy Hill and Hwy 67 around Long Lake have some very tight curves, guardrails, and drops that require riders’ full attention. 

Road Conditions (3 out of 5)

Pavement conditions generally are good, but watch for gravel kicked onto curves by travel trailers in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. 

Points of Interest

  1. Holy Hill National Shrine
This chapel, built in 1926 on a prominent bluff, is six miles west of Hwy 41/45 on Holy Hill Road (Hwy 167). The church maintains a no fee 192-foot viewing tower, which is open to the public from May 1st to October 31st; www.holyhill.com.
  2. Wisconsin Automotive Museum 
Located just off Hwy 83 in downtown Hartford at 147
N. Rural St, this is Wisconsin’s largest auto museum. The
featured machines are Wisconsin’s own brands including 
Nash, American Motors, and Hartford’s own KisselKars
built here from 1906 to 1931 before Kissel switched to 
outboard motor production; www.wisconsinautomuseum.com
  3. Plymouth 
Wisconsin’s epicenter of speed, Plymouth hosts the state’s 
only AMA National Dirt Track event at the downtown 
fairgrounds every June. Five miles north of Plymouth, the 
“National Park of Speed” Road America features two or four-wheel racing virtually every weekend from April through 
October; www.dairylandclassic.com and www.roadamerica.com
  4. Lizard Mound County Park 
This member of the National Register of Historic Places features 28 above ground effigy burial mounds shaped like birds, panthers, and lizards. Archeologists speculate that they were constructed sometime between 500 – 1200 A.D. by an unknown pre-historic tribe. These mounds are only found in Wisconsin and located a half mile east of Hwy 144 at 2121 Hwy A, just north of West Bend; www.wisconsinmounds.com/LizardMoundCountyPark.html.