There are also fewer ticks on roads than on trails, and you are less likely to get lost. But the benefits of a trail instead of a highway are obvious and substantial. In particular: the natural beauty of the land is a bit less interfered with on a trail, there are no motorized vehicles to watch out for, and on hot days there is usually some protection from the blistering sun.
Those are the basic pros and cons as I hike through the town of Summit in my quest to follow the North Country Trail through Wisconsin. As I’ve explained in previous essays, the trail isn’t built yet in the area near the Minnesota border, with the exception of the Nemadji River Valley, so there is a road route connecting sections of the trail.
Last summer I hiked county roads W and B to Pattison State Park. So far in 2020 I’ve hiked from Pattison to the border between the towns of Summit and Gordon. All of this has happened without any overnight camping or serious day of dedicated hiking. It’s just casual car trips to walk the road in there-and-back stretches.