The actual mileage when riding the entire EPIC route is 31 miles. It's one of the longest skinny-trail routes in the Upper Midwest and has a variety of features that will task hard-charging, experienced riders, while intermediate riders can back off the pace to enjoy the route in a slightly less challenging fashion.
Rock Lake is mostly singletrack, with just a handful of wider sections and brief doubletrack interludes.
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 intersections labeled with a letter-number combination to keep you on track.
Food and drink
Be sure to stop at the Rivers Eatery after the ride for great pizza and cool 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 intersection wayfinding signs, 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
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 here and there. 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 with a very difficult section that throws everything at you: steep side-hills, large rocks, and tight passages through trees, rock gardens and dips. Fun.
The EPIC route ends where you started, the Rock Lake trailhead.
Some of the information on this page has been sourced from: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/134766/rock-lake-imba-epic
40.048 km / 24.884 mi
807 m / 2,646 ft
807 m / 2,646 ft
508 m / 1,667 ft