Actual mileage when riding the entire Epic route is 31 miles.
This IMBA Epic is one of the longest skinny-trail routes in the Upper Midwest. It's mostly singletrack, with just a handful of wider sections and brief doubletrack interludes.
A variety of features will task hard-charging experienced riders who tackle the ride, while intermediate riders can back off the pace to revel in the route.
Parking at the Rock Lake
trailhead is approximately 7 miles east of Cable and requires a daily fee.
The trail system is fairly easy to navigate with each intersection labeled with a letter-number combination.
Be sure to stop at the Rivers Eatery after the ride for great pizza and tasty beverages!
The Rock Lake
Epic starts at the Rock Lake
trailhead. The route travels in a counterclockwise direction and includes the Rock Lake
, Patsy Lake
If navigating by intersections, follow this order (all labels begin with N): Rock Lake
/Town Hall trailhead, 1,2,32,31,3,6,Rock Lake
Begin the Rock Lake
Trail behind the trailhead kiosk; avoid the ski trail to the left. The trail is quite easy in the beginning with only an occasional rock. A few rocky descents will be encountered on the way to N5, all of which are easily navigated, especially if you have front or full suspension. From N29 to the turnoff at N31, the trail is considerably more technical and difficult.
Hildebrand Lake Loop is at the eastern end of the Rock Lake
trail and begins with a small loose rock ride-over. This was intended to be a filter for riders to know what to expect through this part of the loop. Riders can expect many drops, steps, rock gardens, dips, and the 103-foot long, 18-inch wide No Hands Bridge over a stream at the end of Hildebrand Lake. This location is perhaps one of the most remote areas in the state of Wisconsin, featuring mature hardwoods and striking glacial terrain.
Beyond the Hildebrand Lake Loop, riders will come to Wall Street - a steep, downhill, rock causeway. Intimidating at first, it's actually not too difficult as long as you remain relaxed and loose while riding over the rocks. Afterwards, the technical features transition to steep climbs and descents.
Turning right at N31 takes you to the Glacier
trail and a stretch of easier, non-technical riding. It's a welcome transition and a nice way to connect to the Patsy Lake
Continue through intersection N22 to N14 to continue the ride on the Patsy Lake
trail, which features bogs, wandering singletrack, interesting bridges and rolling hills. The trail is easy riding and meandering. You'll encounter three bridges between N14 and N15.
You'll find recently constructed, sweet flowing singletrack from intersection N15 to N30. Beyond that to the trailhead, the trail continues to be easy with the exception of one steep side hill which some riders may find challenging.
After making a hard left at the Namakagon
/Town Hall trailhead, be prepared for a climb. After reaching the top, the trail is much less difficult and continues on a combination of mellow singletrack and overgrown doubletrack forest roads with short alternate segments of technical singletrack.
From N1 to N2 the Namakagon
trail intersects and parallels the Patsy Lake
trail. This section is a bit more technical. Bear right at N2 to continue the Epic route back to the intersection with the Glacier
At N32 riders will be starting the home stretch by turning right toward the Rock Lake
Saving the best (and hardest) for last, riders will finish the Rock Lake
trail. Be prepared for a very difficult section that throws everything at you: steep side-hills, large rocks, and tight passages through trees, rock gardens and dips.
The Epic route ends where you started, the Rock Lake
Created and cared for by the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA), the Rock Lake
Epic exemplifies the diversity of riding available on the extensive trail network that CAMBA maintains.