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Riding the Routes of Jefferson County | S35 Ep. 5

February 29, 2024

Buckle up for a crazy adventure with Discover Wisconsin host, Andrea Boehlke, as she rides the routes of Jefferson County this year with Jefferson County Parks Director, Kevin Wiesmann. The two fittingly start their adventure at Route 19 Cafe with the Jefferson County Snowmobile Alliance President and Trail Boss. Andrea and Kevin snowmobile over to Legendary Lake Mills for some frosty fun at the Knickerbocker Ice Festival on Rock Lake and in downtown Lake Mills. They top off a day of activities with an old fashioned and classic Wisconsin campfire treat at Dog and Shrub Distillery.

As the summer sun warms up the trails, Kevin takes Andrea on a biking extravaganza. But first, they buzz their buds at Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters. Here they meet with the owner, Pete Berres, to learn more about one successful business right off the newly built Interurban Bike Trail that connects Watertown to Oconomowoc. After the caffeine kicks in, they head over to the Glacial River Trail to meet up with some Jefferson County locals at the red covered bridge. Resembling an old rail car, the bridge commemorates the railroad that underlies the bike trails. The crew bikes up to Jones Dairy Farm and Market in Fort Atkinson, where Andrea and Kevin cool off with an ice cream treat and a chat with the owner, Philip Jones. The two end the day across the street at Jones Park where they cheer on the Generals Baseball team.

As the summer continues, Andrea and Kevin find a bit of calm along the Rock River with Jeanne Scherer, a local birdwatcher. After a scenic lunch at Heron’s Landing, the three explore the Jefferson County bird scene while paddling along the river. The wildlife continues with a brief stop at Goat Island where Andrea, Kevin and Jeanne find laughable amusement in their new four-legged friends. After docking at 2 Rivers Bicycle and Outdoor shop, they recap their day over some soft serve at Fort Atkinson’s local ice cream joint, Frostie Freeze.

After a peaceful ride along the river, Andrea was ready to rev it up. Fortunately, Jefferson County is no desert when it comes to speed. Home to three national powersports companies, Jefferson County is a fountain of action and Andrea was ready to drink some up adrenaline. She and Kevin meet up at Rob’s Performance Motorsports to chat with the owner, Rob Strauss and SOAR member, Steve Habeck. Here Andrea and Kevin learn about SOAR’s welcoming environment, camaraderie and generosity throughout the greater community. Steve and a number of SOAR members take Andrea and Kevin on a group ride to Aztalan State Park. Here they receive a short history lesson on Wisconsin’s first town from local archeologist, Bob Birmingham. Andrea and Kevin end their ride with the SOAR crew at the Jefferson Speedway where they cheer on the drivers and even experience the track themselves.

After riding the routes in Jefferson County with Kevin this year, Andrea has discovered a number of amazing places, learned an incredible amount of route history and met numerous extraordinary people. These routes connect people to Jefferson County towns, businesses, the past and to each other.

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