Deke Slayton Route
The Deke Slayton Route is named in honor of WWII veteran, test pilot, astronaut and local hero Deke Slayton. Deke was born on a farm near Sparta, WI and graduated from Sparta High School before joining the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor was attacked. This route is broken into 3 distinct parts. One part explores all of the hills and valleys between Sparta and Black River Falls. The second part covers the area between Sparta and West Salem and includes the famous Mindoro Cut. The third part is actually located south of Interstate 90 and fills in the gaps between other routes in the area. Regardless of which section you are riding, there are a variety of roads from tight and twisty to wide open and speedy. When you are in Sparta, take the time to visit the Deke Slayton Memorial Museum and get your picture taken with Deke! Outside of Sparta is F.A.S.T. Corp with larger than life fiberglass figures. This route also includes access to 3 Wisconsin Rustic Roads (# 31, #54, and #91).
If you plan on riding the Deke Slayton route (and you should!) consider staying in or near Sparta. It is central to this route and it makes a great staging area with easy access to multiple Driftless Area routes.
NOTE: While all of our routes were created utilizing paved roads, we are not able to keep up with road conditions throughout the entire Driftless Area. It is up to each rider to assess road conditions and their own abilities in order to assure rider safety.
Deke Slayton Route (pictured above): ~250 miles; 6.75 riding hours.
Deke Slayton Lite Route (not pictured): ~190 miles; 5 riding hours.
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Sparta: Deke Slayton Memorial Museum, F.A.S.T Corporation, Monroe County Courthouse, West Central Model Railroad, Ben Bikin’ Statue
Cataract: Wegner Grotto, Glass Church, Little Falls Railroad and Doll Museum
Mindoro: Mindoro Cut
Rustic Roads #31, #54, and #91