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Stage 646 – Maiden Rock to Misha Mokwa

The need now is for the ATW route to make its way north east across Wisconin to the land gap between the Great Lakes of Superior, Michigan and Huron. But having crossed the Mississippi River on the previous stage, 646 finds itself heading along the northern shore of the river and unable to escape a south easterly run until late in the stage. Although Highway 35 runs close by the river, the terrain is lumpy and for the most part, the stage is either going up or down. Only the couple of miles either side of halfway could be considered as in any way flat.

The rollout is steep and downhill to Pine Creek, which the road crosses where it flows into the Mississippi. But the descent is short lived and by the time there’s a mile on the clock, the road is well into it’s up/down nature which persists all the way to Stockholm at six miles. There, the road rises sharply after passing Stockholm Village Park and attains the highest elevation of the stage at the Lake Pepin Wildlife Area at seven miles before descending back down to the water’s edge at Lakeport.

The road remains flattish from Lakeport through Pepin to Trail Road at fourteen miles then there’s a descent down to cross the Chippewa River at fifteen miles. The terrain at this point is characterised by multiple tributaries flowing into both the Chippewa and the Mississippi: Swinger Slough flows east alongside the road for a mile to fifteen miles then Buffalo Slough runs west into the Chippewa on the other side. The marshy land ends however when Highway 35 meets Highway 25 at eighteen miles at the point where H25 heads north.

The junction marks the end of Highway 35, and the route turns left onto Highway 25 for the remaining four miles of the stage. The marshy land on the eastern side of the Chippewa is the Tiffany Wildlife Area and Highway 25 runs up the eastern side of the wildlife area next to Buffalo Slough to the finish at Misha Mokwa. For the most part it’s a climb as the road heads away from the Mississippi but there’s respite at twenty miles when the road descends briefly off the hill to meet Buffalo Slough: however the last two miles to the finish are uphill and the line is at the second highest elevation of the stage.

Distance: 23 miles / 37 kilometres

Ascent: 512 feet / 156 metres

RGT Magic Road: tn5HUEutpSI6

Total distance: 21.97 mi
Max elevation: 864 ft
Min elevation: 777 ft
Total climbing: 511 ft
Total descent: -506 ft

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