WAUZEKA – With the recent pandemic shutdown easing and spring in the air, many people are feeling the need to escape to the great outdoors.
In the Driftless region, many have used several of our country roads approved for use by ATV and UTV operators.
However, in the Wauzeka countryside, the experience is taken to the next level.
Larsen UTV debuted in the summer of 2020 as many were looking for ways to escape the brunt of the pandemic.
“It started when more and more people were renting our Air BnB and saw that we had a side-by-side (UTV) and asked if they could rent it,” Larsen explained.
The family property already offered a plethora of trails and opportunities for riders, resting on 600 acres of pristine, drift-free terrain in the Wauzeka countryside. Gifting it to others therefore seemed like a natural fit for Larsen.
The terrain presents a variety of different landscapes and trails, from easy driving to the toughest climbs and muddy fun. In addition to what Larsen notes, this is the largest one-room cave in Wisconsin.
“We get a lot of people going out with their families, driving around and exploring the cave,” Larsen noted.
There are three different UTVs available for rent currently to meet a variety of motorcyclist desires and abilities.
“My favorite is probably the Kawasaki Teryx 4,” said Larsen. “It’s a little less power but a very comfortable ride.” The Kawasaki offers quality bucket seats among others.
A Polaris RZR 1000 4 is also available, a more powerful machine that can accommodate four people and can easily climb and descend hills on the trails. There’s also a more classic model, the CAN-AM Defender HD-10, which looks like a more familiar Mule-type machine. Equipped with a bench, perfect for a family of three or a couple.
Each of the units costs $ 250 per day to rent and hike the trails.
Runners with their own machines are also invited to come and attack the trails of Wauzeka. Those bringing their own or traveling to experience the scenery will pay $ 20 per UTV / ATV and $ 5 per passenger per day.
“It seems since the pandemic a lot of people wanted to go out and enjoy the woods and the country,” Larsen said. “And we are able to offer a bit of everything here for the runners. We’ve got quieter, easier trails for those just looking for a nice nature walk, and we’ve got some mud and hills to climb for those looking for a little more adventure. We are still working, repairing and maintaining the trails. Larsen also added that all trials are mapped on Google Maps to make things easier.
Riders must be 25 years old to hire or drive the rental vehicles and 18 under 18 years old must wear a helmet. ATV riders should also wear a helmet when out on the trails.
Recent reviews of the Larsen property trails shared, “We had a party of 15, eight UTVs and two ATVs and this place is a blast to ride! Lots of cool and technical trails. and ‘Large private local off-road park. Most of the events are easy to moderate with difficult trails. Also has stunning natural scenery.
“We had a mix of locals and people from afar,” Larsen said of his clientele. “We even had a couple that stopped in New York on a road trip, it was pretty cool meeting everyone. It’s nice that people can even go up and grab something to eat from the local bar and grill and come and check out the trails.
The use of UTVs and ATVs has increased significantly in the region thanks in part to the change in the law introduced in 2018 that allowed them legally on the roads. Since then, many groups of cyclists have been formed and have helped pay for signage on local roads indicating where riding was available and promoting local business and safety.
Despite the widespread popularity of pass time, as Larsen points out, newcomers are always welcome.
“We’re happy to teach them how to use it and make sure they feel comfortable,” Larsen said. “We are insured and everyone signs a waiver before entering the trails.”
To learn more about Larsen UTV / ATV rental or to book a day to hike the trails yourself, you can visit www.larsenutvrentals.com or call 608-412-4087.
The trails are open until September 1, when they close for deer hunting season, but the fun resumes on February 1.