Wisconsin Bike Trails

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the green circle trail in stevens point


In 1967, when the Elroy-Sparta State Trail became the first rails-to-trails bike trail in the world, Wisconsin established itself as one of the most bike friendly states in America. Since then, thousands of miles of bike and pedestrian trails have been established in Wisconsin - most of the miles on converted rail right-of-ways.

Biking on trails allows cyclists the opportunity to get comfortable with long distance bike touring while getting off the roads and away from traffic. Most trails are paved with asphalt or crushed limestone. Wisconsin's network of trails cuts through the heart of rich urban cultural districts and scenic rural valleys. Between state trails and county trails there is a bike trail near you in Wisconsin. This is my list of trails I have written about and a directory to individual blog posts.


Central Wisconsin Bike Trails

CAPITAL CITY STATE TRAIL - MADISON


Capital City State Trail

DISTANCE: 17 miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Dane
COMMUNITIES: Madison, Fitchburg

The Capital City State Trail carves a recreational greenway through Madison - Wisconsin's Capital City. The trail connects many of Madison's iconic places including the downtown isthmus; State Capitol, Monona Terrace, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Central Park, Aliant Energy Center and the Nine Springs E-way to name a few. There are many paved trails connecting to this mainline that lead to the UW campus, Henry Vilas Zoo and other destinations. A 25 mile loop trail is recommended in the article.

CLICK HERE FOR TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE

THE GREEN CIRCLE TRAIL - STEVENS POINT



the green circle trail in stevens point


DISTANCE: 24.6 mile loop
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone, Boardwalk, Asphalt
COUNTIES: Portage
COMMUNITIES: Stevens Point, Whiting
This ultra-scenic trail skirts the confluence of the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers and cuts through parks, sculpture gardens, and downtown Stevens Point. This relatively newer trail has become a favorite and considered by many to be Wisconsin's best recreational trail for its mix scenic beauty and well thought out trail design. 

ARTICLE AND TRAIL MAP HERE 

THE TOMORROW RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 29 miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Portage, Waupaca
COMMUNITIES: Plover, Arnott, Amherst Junction, Amherst, Scandinavia, Ogdensburg, Manawa

Th Tomorrow River State Trail is a quiet rural bike trail between Plover and Manawa on a retired rail line.

TRAIL MAP HERE 

MOUNTAIN BAY STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 84 miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Marathon, Shawano, Brown
COMMUNITIES: Kelly, Weston, Ringle, Hatley, Norrie, Eland, Shepley, Bowler, Lyndhurst, Thornton, Shawano, Bonduel, Zachow, Pulaski, Anston, Howard

The Mountain Bay Trail travels between central Wisconsin's iconic Rib Mountain and Green Bay.

TRAIL MAP HERE 


WIOUWASH STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 40 miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Shawano, Waupaca, Outagamie, Winnebago
COMMUNITIES: Eland, Wittenberg, Whitcomb, Tigerton, Split Rock, Hunting, Hortonville, Medina, Larsen, Allenville, Oshkosh

A recreational trail split into north and south segments will eventually connect Oshkosh to the Mountain Bay State Trail.

TRAIL MAP HERE 


MASCOUTIN VALLEY & NORTHWESTERN TRAILS


DISTANCE: 21 miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Green Lake, Winnebago, Fond Du Lac
COMMUNITIES: Berlin, Ripon, Rosendale, Fond Du Lac

There are three seperate legs of rural recreation trails described here. The Mascoutin is split in two and the Northwestern heads west out of Ripon.

TRAIL MAP HERE 



South Central Wisconsin Bike Trails

BADGER STATE TRAIL


the Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail


DISTANCE: 40 miles linear
PAVEMENT: Crushed limestone, asphalt
COUNTY: Dane, Green
COMMUNITIES: Madison, Fitchburg, Verona, Oregon, Paoli, Basco, Belleville, Exeter, Monticello , Monroe, Clarno

The Stewart Tunnel is the highlight of this 40 mile rail trail which cuts through rolling countryside From Madison to the Illinois border. Trail towns at Paoli, Belleville, and Monticello add shopping, dining, and leisure opportunities to a tour of southern Wisconsin by bike on the Badger State Trail.

ARTICLE AND TRAIL MAP HERE

SUGAR RIVER STATE TRAIL


Sugar River State Trail


DISTANCE: 24 miles linear
PAVEMENT: Crushed limestone, asphalt
COUNTY: Green
COMMUNITIES: New Glarus, Exeter, Monticello, Albany, Brodhead

This peaceful trail meanders through southern Wisconsin forests and alongside the picturesque oxbowing Sugar River and Little Sugar River. There are many bridges and even a covered bridge. A portion of this trail is also designated as the Albany Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

ARTICLE AND TRAIL MAP HERE


JANESVILLE SEGMENT - ICE AGE TRAIL


janesville segment of the ice age national scenic trail

DISTANCE: 10.4 miles linear
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTY: Rock
COMMUNITIES: Janesville

Janesville's network of paved bicycle trails branch off its mainline which shares a route with the Ice Age National Trail. This trail cuts through most of Janesville's major parks, greenways, and its downtown commercial and entertainment district.

ARTICLE AND TRAIL MAP HERE

GLACIAL RIVER TRAIL

DISTANCE: 22 Miles PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTY: Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Koshkonong, Milton
COMMUNITIES: Janesville

A paved trail paralleling Highway 26 that is part of the Rock River National River Trail

TRAIL MAP HERE


Eastern Wisconsin Bike Trails

DEVIL'S RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 14 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Brown, Manitowoc
COMMUNITIES: Denmark, Maribel, Francis Creek, Rockwood

A new rail trail between Denmark and Rockwood near Green Bay and Manitowoc. Well serviced with parking lots and restrooms.

TRAIL MAP


LAKE TO LAKE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 6.5 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Fond Du Lac
COMMUNITIES: Dundee, New Prospect

A connection between Long Lake and Mauthe Lake, the Lake to Lake Trail is a smooth 6 mile ride through incredible scenery in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest.

TRAIL MAP


OLD PLANK ROAD TRAIL


DISTANCE: 22 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Sheboygan
COMMUNITIES: Greenbush, Plymouth, Sheboygan Falls, Kohler, Sheboygan

A hilly and paved trail along a highway connects the kettle moraine in Greenbush with the Lake Michigan in Sheboygan.

TRAIL MAP


EISENBAHN STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 25 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone and Asphalt
COUNTIES: Fond Du Lac, Washington
COMMUNITIES: Eden, Cambellsport, Kewaskum, Barton, West Bend 

A scenic kettle moraine ride between Eden and West Bend on a flat and level rail trail. Great trail towns with parks and services. The trail in and around West Bend is paved in asphalt.

TRAIL MAP


WILD GOOSE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 35 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Fond Du Lac, Dodge
COMMUNITIES: Fond Du Lac, Waupun, Oakfield, Burnett, Minnesota Junction, Juneau 

A quiet ride through the agricultural heartland with views of Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and a  stop at an effigy mounds park.

TRAIL MAP


FOND DU LAC LOOP TRAIL


DISTANCE: Approx. 17 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Fond Du Lac
COMMUNITIES: Fond Du Lac 

The Loop in Fond Du Lac consists of many different connected trails which in turn connect all of the major districts in Fond Du Lac. The Wild Goose and Mascoutin State Trails terminate at this loop. Most of the miles of this trail are off roads on asphalt trails, but some connecting routes require limited road cycling (mostly in protected bike lanes).

TRAIL MAP


AHNAPEE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 45 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Kewaunee, Door
COMMUNITIES: Kewaunee, Luxemburg, Casco, Algoma, Forestville, Sturgeon Bay

From Lake Michigan along the banks of the Kewaunee and Ahnapee Rivers to Sturgeon Bay on a winding 45 mile route.

TRAIL MAP


GREEN BAY TRAILS: FOX RIVER, EAST RIVER, BAIRD CREEK, AND FRIENDSHIP TRAILS


DISTANCE: 45 Miles combined
PAVEMENT: Asphalt (Friendship State Trail is on crushed stone/dirt)
COUNTIES: Brown, Calument
COMMUNITIES: Green Bay, Allouez, De Pere, Forest Junction, Brillion

Green Bay's network of paved trails is interconnected and easy to access. Grand views of the Fox River are constant on the Fox River Trail. The East River and Baird Creek wind their way through parkways and residential neighborhoods in central Green Bay.

TRAIL MAP


MARINERS TRAIL MANITOWOC TO TWO RIVERS


DISTANCE: 8.5 miles linear
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Manitowoc
COMMUNITIES: Manitowoc, Two Rivers

Directly on the shore of Lake Michigan, the Mariners trail connects Manitowoc to Two Rivers.

TRAIL MAP



South Eastern Wisconsin Bike Trails

OAK LEAF AND BEERLINE TRAILS IN MILWAUKEE


Beerline Trail

DISTANCE: 30+ miles network
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Milwaukee
COMMUNITIES: Brown Deer, Glendale, Shorewood, Milwaukee, Bayview, St. Francis, Cudahy, South Milwaukee

The Oak Leaf Trail is Milwaukee County's network of paved multi-use trails and the state's busiest bike trail - hosting at least 500k riders each year. It has two long linear sections of mainline that travel north and south along Lake Michigan. The north shore portion hugs the forested banks of the Milwaukee River and leads to popular recreation and entertainment areas along the waterfront downtown. The south shore section rolls along on gentle trails connecting parks along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Bayview to Grant Park.

TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE


OZAUKEE INTERURBAN RECREATIONAL TRAIL


DISTANCE: 29 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt, some crushed limestone, some light traffic streets
COUNTIES: Ozaukee
COMMUNITIES: Mequon, Theinsville, Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington, Belgium

A smooth ride on pavement through historic trail towns with many amenities. One of the most popular rides in Wisconsin.

TRAIL MAP

SHEBOYGAN INTERURBAN RECREATIONAL TRAIL


DISTANCE: 5.3 Miles on trail; 14 miles on roads
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Sheboygan
COMMUNITIES: Cedar Grove, Oostburg, Sheboygan

An extension of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, this paved trail connects Belgium to Oostburg.

TRAIL MAP

BUGLINE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 16 miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: Merton, Lisbon, Sussex, Lannon, Menomonee Falls

Among the most popular trails in Wisconsin, The Bugline is a pleasant ride beneath the shade of parks and parkways.

TRAIL MAP

LAKE COUNTRY TRAIL


DISTANCE: 16 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: Oconomowoc, Delafield, Pewaukee

A smooth and easy ride on pavement weaving through many parks in Waukesha County.

TRAIL MAP

GLACIAL DRUMLIN STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 54 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Dane, Jefferson, Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: Cottage Grove, Deerfield, Cambridge, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Sullivan, Dousman, Wales, Waukesha

A long rail trail connecting the Milwaukee area to the Madison area.

TRAIL MAP

HANK AARON STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 12 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Milwaukee
COMMUNITIES: Milwaukee, West Allis, Brookfield

A commuter trail through the heart of Milwaukee which connects most of Milwaukee's most popular tourist destinations.

TRAIL MAP

WHITE RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 18 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Walworth, Racine
COMMUNITIES: Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, Burlington, Kansasville, Dover

A quiet rural trail in the southern Kettle Moraine area near Lake Geneva.

TRAIL MAP

KENOSHA AND RACINE COUNTY TRAILS


DISTANCE: Approximately 20 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Manitowoc, Kenosha
COMMUNITIES: Manitowoc, Kenosha, Sturtevant, Mount Pleasant 

Interconnected county and city trails in Southeast Wisconsin.

TRAIL MAP


Western Wisconsin Bike Trails

ELROY SPARTA STATE TRAIL


Elroy Sparta State Trail

DISTANCE: 32 miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone
COUNTIES: Monroe
COMMUNITIES: Elroy, Kendall, Wilton, Norwalk, Sparta

This trail is world famous as the first rails-to-trails trail (established in 1967), and for its three long cavernous tunnels. Laid out along the former Chicago and North Western Railroad, it passes through Wisconsin's Driftless and Hidden Valleys region. The bucolic country ride through an unglaciated landscape passes over numerous babbling brooks and valley streams.

TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE


GREAT RIVER STATE TRAIL


Great River State Trail

DISTANCE: 25.2
PAVEMENT: Crushed limestone and asphalt
COUNTIES: :La Crosse, Trempealeau
COMMUNITIES: La Crosse, Onalaska, Midway, Trempealeau, Marshland

The Great River State Trail is a bicycle trail that follows an abandoned rail spur from La Crosse to Marshland WI. This scenic trail crosses through floodplains, deltas, and wildlife preserves along the banks of the Mississippi River north of La Crosse

TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE HERE


400 STATE TRAIL


400 State Trail

DISTANCE: 22 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone
COUNTIES: Sauk, Juneau
COMMUNITIES: Reedsburg, La Valle, Wonewoc, Union Center, Elroy

Quiet, serene, gorgeous scenery, charming trail towns are some of the ways to describe a bike ride on Wisconsin's 400 State trail.  The 400 State Trail cuts a path alongside the meandering Baraboo River and through Wisconsin's rural Driftless region.

TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE


HILLSBORO STATE TRAIL

DISTANCE: 4 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone
COUNTIES: Vernon, Juneau
COMMUNITIES: Hillsboro, Union Center

This short trail connects the 400 State Trail to Hillsboro.

TRAIL MAP


THE OMAHA TRAIL


DISTANCE: 12.8 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone, asphalt
COUNTIES: Juneau
COMMUNITIES: Camp Douglas, Hustler, Elroy

A quiet ride through dramatic bluffs and stone outcroppings of the driftless area. The Omaha County Trail connects directly to the Elroy Sparta Trail and 400 State Trail at Elroy. A memorable feature of the Omaha trail is a 300 foot underground tunnel.

TRAIL MAP


LA CROSSE RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 21 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone
COUNTIES: La Crosse, Monroe
COMMUNITIES: La Crosse, Onalaska, West Salem, Bangor, Rockland, Sparta

A connection between the Great River State Trail and the Elroy Sparta Trail this trail descends through dramatic hills into the Mississippi River Valley in Coulee Country.

TRAIL MAP


MILITARY RIDGE STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 40 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Dane, Iowa
COMMUNITIES: Madison, Fitchburg, Verona, Riley, Mount Horeb, Blue Mounds, Barneveld, Ridgeway, Dodgeville

Connected to the network of bike trails around Madison, the Military Ridge heads west from Fitchburg to Dodgeville. Two state parks with camping and other services are adjacent to the trail.

TRAIL MAP


PINE RIVER TRAIL


DISTANCE: 16.2 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone (2 miles asphalt)
COUNTIES: Richland
COMMUNITIES: Richland Center, Twin Bluffs / Sextonville, Gotham, Lone Rock

A Richland County Trail crossing the Pine River numerous times in the scenic Driftless Area.

TRAIL MAP



Northwestern Wisconsin Bike Trails

STOWER SEVEN LAKES STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 13.4 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Limestone
COUNTIES: Pok
COMMUNITIES: Dresser, Nye, Wanderoos, Deronda, Amery

This trail passes closely along the shores of seven lakes in northwestern Wisconsin just an hour out of Minneapolis.

TRAIL MAP


OLD ABE STATE TRAIL AND DUNCAN CREEK TRAIL


DISTANCE: 20 Miles (Duncan Creek Trail: 10 miles)
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Chippewa
COMMUNITIES: Cornell, Jim Falls, Chippewa Falls

Named after a famous Civil War eagle, the Old Abe Trail is a paved bike route connecting Brunet Island State Park with Lake Wissota State Park.

TRAIL MAP


CHIPPEWA RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 38 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Eau Claire, Dunn, Pepin, Chippewa
COMMUNITIES: Chippewa Falls, Lake Hallie, Eau Claire, Caryville, Meridean, Red Cedar, Durand

The Chippewa River Trail is a smooth paved commuter and destination trail that follows along the banks of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers.

TRAIL MAP


RED CEDAR STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 17.6 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Dunn
COMMUNITIES: North Menomonie, Menomonie, Irvington, Downsville, Dunnville

This ultra-scenic trail hugs the banks of the meandering Red Cedar River. The Red Cedar Trail connects directly to the Chippewa River State Trail.

TRAIL MAP


HUDSON TO LAKELAND/AFTON TRAIL


DISTANCE: 6.6 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: St. Croix, Washington (MN)
COMMUNITIES: Hudson, Lakeland, Lake St. Croix Beach, Afton

A smooth ride on asphalt from downtown Hudson, over the St. Croix River, and then to Afton MN.

TRAIL MAP



Northern Wisconsin Bike Trails

ASHLAND WATERFRONT TRAIL AND TRI-COUNTY TRAIL


Ashland Waterfront Trail

DISTANCE: 61 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt and Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas
COMMUNITIES: Ashland, Moquah, Iron River, Brule, Maple, Poplar, Wentworth, Itasca, Superior

Ashland's lakefront has been restored to nature and park lands. The waterfront trail encourages travelers and locals down to the waters edge. At its northeast end the path connects seamlessly to the Tri County Corridor - a 61 mile bike and ATV trail that cuts through dense national forest land to Superior and Duluth. All of the trails within Ashland are wide and paved with asphalt. Bikers can make an easy loop through and around Ashland.

TRAIL MAP AND ARTICLE HERE


HEART OF VILAS COUNTY RECREATION TRAIL


DISTANCE: 49.2 Miles
PAVEMENT: Asphalt
COUNTIES: Vilas
COMMUNITIES: Manitowish Waters, Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain

Vilas County is a major recreational destination in Northern Wisconsin on the border with Upper Michigan. This scenic paved trail threads between major tourist town centers, alongside lakes, rivers, and streams, and through the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.

TRAIL MAP HERE


THREE EAGLE BIKE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 14.4 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Oneida, Vilas
COMMUNITIES: Three Lakes, Clearwater Lake, Eagle River

The Three Eagle Trail is newly constructed bike path linking Three Lakes to Eagle River. It will eventually link to other nearby communities in the north woods. These 14 miles meaner through wilderness settings and across wetlands on boardwalks.

TRAIL MAP HERE


THE BEARSKIN AND HIAWATHA TRAILS


DISTANCE: 33 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Granite
COUNTIES: Lincoln, Oneida
COMMUNITIES: Tomahawk, Heafford Junction, Harshaw, Goodnow, Hazelhurst, Rantz, Minocqua

A dozen + trestle bridges carry bikers over streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes and through north woods wilderness scenery on these two combined pedestrian trails.

TRAIL MAP HERE


THE PINE LINE BIKE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 26.2 Miles
PAVEMENT: Limestone
COUNTIES: Taylor, Price
COMMUNITIES: Medford, Whittlesey, Chelsea, Westboro, Ogema, Prentice

Cut through terminal moraine this woodsy trail offers bikers and joggers a place to unwind in a wilderness setting. Nearby sights include Timms Hill - Wisconsin's highest elevation, the Black River, Chelsea Lake, and the Chequamegon National Forest.

TRAIL MAP HERE


OCONTO RIVER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 8 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Oconto
COMMUNITIES: Oconto

Parralleling the Oconto River and ancient foot paths this 8 miles is a brief bike trail west of Oconto.

TRAIL MAP HERE


GANDY DANCER STATE TRAIL


DISTANCE: 98 Miles
PAVEMENT: Crushed Stone
COUNTIES: Polk, Burnett, Pine (MN), Douglas
COMMUNITIES: St. Croix Falls, Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederic, Siren, Webster, Danbury, Superior

Parralleling the St. Croix National Scenic Waterway in northwestern Wisconsin, this long trail connects Interstate State Park to Pattison State Park.

TRAIL MAP HERE



Wisconsin Bike Trails Map