What a shame this week to find that someone had cutoff two of the new Rustic Road 110 signs along the route of our newly designated Rustic Road. Just 3 months after the new designation was announced by Governor Walker, and merely weeks after the new signs were installed, two signs go missing.
Vandals chop and saw signs
After 2 years working to get the state to approve a Rustic Road in the Town of West Point, a 6 mile stretch from 113 and Chrislaw Road to Van Ness and then O’connor, Governor Walker finally announced the designation in On July 14, 2011. For the community members who are part of the Outdoor Open Space and Natural Area Committee in the Town of West Point, working on this project was an opportunity to showcase one of our beautiful rural roads, get the speed reduced, and encourage more Eco-tourism in the community.
This addition to the Rustic Roads Program brings the total number of rustic roads in the state to 111 and the total number of road miles in the program to more than 640.
What is a Rustic Road?
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website they indicate that to qualify for the Rustic Road program , a road:
• should have outstanding natural features along its borders such as rugged terrain, native vegetation, native wildlife, or include open areas with agricultural vistas which singly or in combination uniquely set this road apart from other roads.
• should be a lightly traveled local access road, one which serves the adjacent property owners and those wishing to travel by auto, bicycle, or hiking for purposes of recreational enjoyment of its rustic features.
• should be one not scheduled nor anticipated for major improvements which would change its rustic characteristics.
• should have, preferably, a minimum length of 2 miles and, where feasible, should provide a completed closure or loop, or connect to major highways at both ends of the route.
In some parts of the state, the rustic road may be dirt, gravel or paved road. It may be one-way or two-way. It may also have bicycle or hiking paths adjacent to or incorporated in the roadway area. The maximum speed limit on a Rustic Road has been established by law at 45 mph. A speed limit as low as 30 mph may be established by the local governing authority.
West Point’s Rustic Road 110
I was very excited to see the signs posted early in September 2011. The route starts at Chrislaw Road – at State Hwy 113 just north of bridge where Spring Creek and the Rail line cross under 113. At this end, bounded by farm fields, you can see the many hills that typify the Scenic Lodi Valley. Looking north at the 113 end, you might just see Baraboo Bluffs and Lake Wisconsin in the distance.
As you head west on Chrislaw you head down hill to a valley with a lovely marsh pond – a stopping spot for migratory birds. heading back up the hill westbound, you get a profile view of Gibraltar Rock – not normally seen from this angle. The end of Chrislaw is marked with a large stately tree. Turning left you traverse just .25 of a mile on J to get to the start of Van Ness Road and continue on Rustic Road 110.
One of the outstanding features of Van Ness, besides its rural nature and quiet farms, is the continuous and ever changing view of Gibraltar Rock. with many open north views, you can see Gibraltar in the distance with fields in the foreground.
Van Ness is notable for its hills that on a bike or running are might be described as steep. With picturesque barns and a view over a prairie pond on the downhill side of Van Ness at its most western point this section will be memorable.
The last section of Rustic Road 110 is on the southern end of O’Connor all the way to the intersection of Scenic Byway – State HWY 60 which is in the very southern border of West Point Township. Here the terrain levels out for most of the way with just a few small hills as you zig-zag your way around farm fields.
Other Columbia County Rustic Roads
Rustic Road 110
Location: Columbia County. HWY 113 and Chrislaw Road to O’Connor Road and Scenic Byway HWY 60 .
Length: 6 miles
Approximately six miles long, R-110 includes portions of Chrislaw, Van Ness and O’Connor roads in the Columbia County towns of Lodi and West Point. The route features rolling hills, farm vistas, wetlands, outstanding fall foliage and abundant wildlife.
Rustic Road 69
Location: Columbia County. Old Agency House Road, from East Albert Street to the north end near the Old Indian Agency House.
Length: .75 miles
R69 travels along the historic Portage Canal. On one side of the road are wetlands which serve as a habitat for sandhill cranes, blue heron, and many other birds. The road leads to the historic Indian Agency House. Built in 1832, the house is open to the public. The northeast end of the road connects with the Marquette Trail. One can also view the remnants of the Old Fort Winnebago Locks. This canal joined the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, making travel by water possible for the first time from Green Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
Rustic Road 49
Location: Sauk and Columbia Counties. Levee Road, beginning at the intersection with County T east to the intersection with WIS 33.
Length: 9.8 miles
Levee Road travels through the Aldo Leopold reserve along the Wisconsin River, giving motorists, bikers and hikers an opportunity to view prairie grasses, wildlife, trees and marsh in their natural setting.
If you have any information concerning the signs, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff.