The Bugline Trail

wood bridge crossing river

Among the most popular cycling trails in Wisconsin, The Bugline cuts through parkways in the suburban areas of Waukesha County. Shaded and winding, the trail is a supremely pleasant ride. Views of the expansive Lannon Quarries are a memorable feature.

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paved bike trail in shade

My friend asked me what I had done on a July Sunday morning. "Biked 32 miles, hiked 6 miles, swam at a beach, and watched a polo game." All of this of course happened on the Bugline Trail in Waukesha County.

The route follows rolling kettle moraine landscape "like a caterpillar on a grapevine," so it received the Bug Line name. The trail today is set onto the former bed of the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company. It famously carried freight for the Lannon Quarry which is still being mined today for its locally famous Lannon Stone. The line was also a passenger line. The last trains ran in 1978 and it was converted to a recreational trail in 1980. Recently, the trail was paved and extended to North Lake.

The park-like setting of the trail makes this trail especially popular. It strings together major city and county parks along its distance. The Merton Segment of the Ice Age National Trail also crosses and shares a portion of the Bugline, so you can get off your bike and stretch your legs on a healthy hike along the Oconomowoc River.

Menomonee Park in Menomonee Falls is a popular starting point for accessing the trail. Menomonee Park hosts a popular beach with diving platforms and also a fishing dock on Trout Lake. An access trail connects Menomonee Park to the Bugline.

Further down the trail in Merton the Milwaukee Polo Club draws crowds to watch polo games on the weekends. It is a rare treat to see majestic horses being driven to gallop speed on the field.

There are endless iterations of recreation that can be put together into a weekend afternoon of fun and relaxation along the Bugline in all seasons.

bike trail and two bikers crossing a road

Overview: The Bugline Trail

COUNTIES: Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: North Lake, Merton, Lisbon, Sussex, Lannon, Menomonee Falls


Directions and Trail Map

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Addresses for your GPS:
Merton Pollworth Park Parking: N73W28605 Bark River Rd, Hartland, WI 53029
| coordinates: 43.148793, -88.314258 |
Lisbon Community Park Parking: N74W27384 Oakwood Rd, Hartland, WI 53029
| coordinates: 43.157220, -88.279025 | Sussex Village Park Parking: W244N6194 Weaver Dr, Sussex, WI 53089
| coordinates: 43.129741, -88.232379 |
Lannon Menomonee Park Parking: W220N7882 Townline Rd, WI 53089
| coordinates: 43.155641, -88.169742 |

From Milwaukee 1/2 Hour
From Madison 1.5 Hours
From Green Bay 2 Hours
From Wausau 3 Hours
From Minneapolis 5 Hours
From Chicago 2 Hours


paved bike trail in sun

paved bike trail at road


stone wall with doorway

beach in distance beyond ruins in foreground

quarry lake

old turbine beside quarry lake

polo field and game

sign at bike trail


Ice Age Trail sign


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