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Rock Lake - IMBA EPIC

 27 votes


27.0 Miles 43.4 Kilometers




1,524' 465 m


-1,524' -464 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (7°)

1,595' 486 m


1,420' 433 m




Getting forecast...

A linkup of deep woods singletrack - one of the longest skinny-trail routes in the Upper Midwest.

Leslie Kehmeier


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.
Features: -none-
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know

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, Glacier, Patsy Lake and Namakagon trails.

If navigating by intersections, follow this order (all labels begin with N): Rock Lake trailhead,7,5,8,4,29,11,31,32,22,13,14,17,18,34,30, Namakagon/Town Hall trailhead, 1,2,32,31,3,6,Rock Lake trailhead.

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 trail.

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 trail.

At N32 riders will be starting the home stretch by turning right toward the Rock Lake trail.

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 trailhead.

History & Background

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.


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 6, 2017
Chris Swoboda
Aug 28, 2017
Tom Girard
Awesome trail!!! 27mi
Jul 15, 2017
Chuck Hutchens
Rode Rock Lake loop. Not sure why I can't just get that portion up. Great ride. Rocky, rooty and fun! Wall Street was a trip. Total head game. Fun. 12.1mi
Jun 14, 2017
Ben Larson
Aug 29, 2015
Shane Stuard
Awesome ride! 29mi
Sep 27, 2014
Mike Van Abel
A perfect "Chamber of Commerce" day to complete the CAMBA-IMBA Epic in Chequamegon National Forest.
Aug 18, 2014
Frank Stanton
Left from Namakagon Town Hall and got caught in a storm at the far end of the Hildebrandt Loop. Both of us bent our derailleur hangers as well. 28mi — 4h 15m
Jul 25, 2013
Joe Switek
Had to ride the road back from the Namakagon trailhead after losing a pivot bolt from my suspension. Can't wait to get back and ride the last section 23mi — 4h 00m

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 27 votes


  4.5 from 27 votes
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Between N8 and N4 there is a N35 (which is not on the map). Take a left here, not a right. A right turn will take you on a connecting trail, named Danky Dank, to the Cable cluster (not on the map). Jul 25, 2016
A true cross country ride...backcountry style. There isn't any continous descending. It's all very wavy riding in an amazing setting. A must-do if you're in the area. Sep 2, 2016
Matt Goodman
Duluth, MN
Matt Goodman   Duluth, MN
I first rode this trail in 1994, and many times since. It's a great ride in any season, but especially amazing in autumn. It's raw, real, rugged, and it can offer some true mountain biking solitude! Jul 19, 2017

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