Biking the Green Circle Trail in Stevens Point


The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 


The Green Circle Trail is a bike and walking route in Stevens Point WI. As the name implies, the route encircles the city of Stevens Point (and passes through Whiting). The 26 mile loop crosses through parks and public lands alongside the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers. Most of the miles of this route are on crushed red stone paths, while some miles are on boardwalk paths, asphalt paths, and connections between the paths on well marked quiet roadways.

Bikers who complete the full loop can expect a 3 - 4 hour ride. Along the way you'll cruise through wetlands on miles long boardwalks, through a sculpture garden, past historic sites, through downtown, around an airport, past eagles nests, and through beautiful picturesque woodlands along major rivers and streams. The trail is well serviced with many parking areas, restrooms, well placed benches at scenic overlooks, and never far from restaurants and shopping districts.




Along the Wisconsin River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Along the Wisconsin River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 


This new trail (initially designed and built in 1996) has taken over as the gold standard in civic recreational trail design. It has a number of natural and planned advantages which make it the best overall destination bike trail in the state of Wisconsin.

First, it is a loop route. Most recreational trails in the Wisconsin are converted rail trails which cut straight pathways from point to point. Riding on rail trails requires out-and-back day trips or shuttling from the endpoint back to the beginning. Only a few other true loops exist in Wisconsin (The Sunset Trail in Door County, the paved trail system in Madison, and the Lakeshore and Tri-County trail in Ashland).

Second, the route is wonderfully scenic. Stevens Point and Whiting are located at the confluence of the Plover and Wisconsin Rivers. This particular section of the Wisconsin River included a significant elevation drop which allowed for many dams to be built. These dams powered the sawmills and paper mills which made Stevens Point an economic hub. The various mills sat on large plots of land directly on the river. Today, many of those mills are closed, so the land they sat on - which was largely undeveloped - was reclaimed as large public green spaces with old growth forested land directly fronting the river.

Third, Stevens Point is a city. Bike trails in cities have a number of advantages. There are great restaurants and shopping districts that are easy to access from the trail route. You can stop for ice cream at  Belt's Soft Serve or take a tour of the Point Brewery. The Green Circle Trail also cuts a path directly through a the Stevens Point Sculpture Park where you can ride past regional and internationally recognized modern works of art set into vignettes beneath towering white pine trees. Further down the path riders can stop in at the Riverfront Arts Center.

The trail also passes through massive city parks like Iverson Park which have that turn-of-the-century Central Park feel and offer amenities like food stands, picnic shelters, bike and kayak rentals, ballparks, and more. The trail also passes through the outstanding Schmeeckle Reserve, a 280 acre nature conservancy area with many miles of easy walking paths and a nature center.

And, fourth, is love. The Green Circle Trail was invented, designed, constructed, and maintained with love ... and that is evidenced in the many amenities and delights that were added to the trail which they didn't have to do. The Green Circle Trail is a community trail - built for recreational enjoyment and functional commuting of the local community. But, the love this community has put into this trail has built its reputation as a destination trail.

The Stevens Point community has long been recognized for its commitment to natural preservation and the trail they built for themselves serves to illustrate the values that are important to this community. They didn't just lay down pavement and call it a trail. The Green Circle was carefully considered in ever twist and turn, surprising vista, and hand carved swinging bench. There are so many special nooks and photo opportunities built into this trail that I couldn't possibly photograph every last feature. The love that was put into creating this trail adds up to magical experience for those who complete the full 26 mile route. A ride on the Green Circle is among the most pleasant in all of the Upper Midwest.

Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 


Overview: The Green Circle Trail


COUNTY: Portage
COMMUNITIES: Stevens Point, Whiting

TOTAL MILES: 24.6
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone, Boardwalk, Asphalt

POINTS OF INTEREST: Wisconsin River, Plover River, Schmeeckle Reserve, Stevens Point Sculpture Park, Zenoff Park, Buckolt Park, Pfiffner Pioneer Park, Lower Whiting Park, Upper Whiting Park, Plover River Park, Iverson  Park, Yulga Park, Unniversity of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Mcdill Pond, Tomorrow River State Trail, Moses Creek


Directions and Trail Map




If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner

Address for your GPS: 2419 Northpoint Dr, Stevens Point, WI 54481
| coordinates: 44.541028, -89.563378 |

From Milwaukee2.5 Hours
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay1.5 Hours
From Wausau30 Minutes
From Minneapolis3 Hours
From Chicago4 Hours


Photos



Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 


The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 


The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Wisconsin River The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Boardwalk on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Wisconsin River The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin

Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Stevens Point Sculpture Garden on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin

Street routes on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Street routes on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin


The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 

Swinging bench on The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin
Swinging bench on The Plover River on The Green Circle Bike Trail in Stevens Point Wisconsin 



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