Great Lakes Location Spotlight: Wausau, Wisconsin By GLU Admin
03/15/24 11:44

One of the significant advantages of our new independence is that we have a lot more flexibility with our routing!  Look for more rides to start up in Chicago very soon as well as an expanding area as far as Minnesota, Iowa or even the North Shore of Lake Superior.  This really gets to the heart of the spirit of exploration that is so integral to classic randonneuring and ultra endurance.  Our club is fortunate to have members spearhead many areas of the Upper Midwest!
Getting an idea of what you are in for in a location can make it easier to “take the plunge” and try something new or discover things you didn’t know.  We will have a series of these newsletters featuring our many starts: Woodstock, Evanston, Riverside, Delavan, Whitewater, Madison, Harvard, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Door County, and soon to join Minneapolis and Ames, Iowa.  
Now presenting Wausau, Wisconsin!

A Bit about Wausau

By Jennifer Danhaus


Welcome to the Northwoods! Paul and I are very fortunate to live in Wausau, Wisconsin.   When we roll out from home, to the West, in one mile we’ve arrived in a historic downtown. There is a beautiful trail alongside the Wausau River.   Heading out to the East, in two miles it’s all rolling farmland, forests, rivers and lakes.  The area north of Wausau is dotted with many small towns.  In these northwoods, the minimum qualification to be a “town” is “one church and two bars.”  This is the heart of the historic lumbering region, prepared to see a lot of dairy cows, white tailed deer, hawks, and perhaps an occasional fox.

There is plenty in the area for a family to enjoy for the weekend:  Rib Mountain State Park, Bull Falls kayak park, local restaurants like the Red Eye Brewery and the Great Dane Pub, various art museums, and plenty of unique shops in downtown Wausau and Rib Mountain.   


Routes In Wausau!

The Secret Northwoods 600k

On the schedule right now for the first weekend of June - register here.  This is a true tour of the Northwoods of Wisconsin and even a little bit of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  In terms of terrain, you will find everything from flats, to climbs, to rollers.  The route leverages the new St Germain Bike Trail, a paved 40 mile trail through the forest.  Expect to see crystal clear lakes, forests, wildlife and roads with few to no cars.  This is a ride of adventure – don’t expect to see much of civilization.  The start is in Weston – just a bit east.  Since this is one big loop, being close to town is not as critical.  There are numerous hotels (AmericInn, Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn) at the start as well as a Kwik Trip.

The Rib Mountain Double Century

Created by Paul Danhaus, RAAM finisher and long time club member, this ride features some of the very best roads around Wausau including an ascent of Rib Mountain.  The ride is in loops so you can return to base to switch gear or have lunch. 

Imperials and other rides!

The Short Chocolate Cow 300k, the Pike Lake Loop, Eau Claire to Ringle Rendezvous and the Wausau to Point Century all finish up some really awesome rides.  They are from 50 to 186 miles and make for a great weekend of challenging or just plain fun riding.  These can all be scheduled at any time via our DIY Brevets


Where to stay!

With the exception of the Secret Northwoods 600k, the main start is the Cedar Creek Mall in Rothschild.  We picked it not only for a lot of parking and easy access to trails, but the 5 options for hotels – anywhere from inexpensive to posh.  Wausau is a great place to find things to do after a ride.  Denny’s, Subway and Culvers are in walking distance along with numerous other restaurants