Midwest Explorin'

Off Roading in the land of beer, brats, and cheese.

Over Thanksgiving we were up an my wife’s parent’s cabin outside of Townsend, WI (i.e. boonies). I mentioned in a previous post that my mother-in-law drives a Cherokee Trailhawk. I’ve been trying to talk them into taking it off-road literally since they got it to no avail. So I was quite surprised after mentioning that thanks to the frozen ground and lack of snow, this was probably the best time to try it out without getting in over our heads, that she jumped at the chance. Not sure what changed, but I ran with it.

The trail we commonly play on is technically lake access and ends with a “boat launch”. However, due to a nice off-camber hill at the start and several mud holes, there is zero chance of getting a trailer through there.

The trail isn’t long, only about 30 minutes to do the round trip, but due to mud can be almost impassible at times. I believe locals might use it for mudding based on the size of the tire ruts in places. Like I mentioned, there is a nice off-camber hill at the start, several mud holes, and a good amount of rocky terrain (not rock crawling, but low speed and a careful eye are required). Here is a picture of the hill from this summer. Every time I go back, the center channel gets bigger and steeper from erosion.


I know it doesn’t look like much in this picture, but the hill is probably about 30+ degrees and is blind from the bottom. Coming back, the Cherokee lifted a wheel pretty high off the ground here. Unfortunately I do not have many pictures from this trip, due to a variety of factors. Here is what I have though:


Here are some of my truck, taken by my MIL:


This last one is a good idea of the terrain. Lots of ice with water and mud below. Thankfully it has been well below freezing for a few weeks, so the ground was at least mostly firm. As is, my FIL had to take much more cautious lines than me, and used my truck to determine how deep areas were.


All in all it did a good job. I don’t think there was any times that they were really in danger of getting stuck. The best part is that everyone enjoyed it, so I think we will be having more of these trips in the future.

Side note, this was also my daughters (15 mos) first off roading trip. Based on the amount of “wows” coming from her car seat, I think she enjoyed it.


Here are some videos we took, as boring as they may be.



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