Wisconsin is a popular state for cycling, with thousands of trails that are free of traffic and perfect for enthusiasts. Bikers have many choices in the selection of routes. From the family-friendly Moon Ride Polish and Santa Cycle Rampage to challenging trails that cross the state. The state is also home to some of the greatest biking organizations, including Fyxation and the Wisconsin Bike Fed. These organizations put together a bike tour each fall that travels through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and cover 112 miles in three days crossing dense forests, high altitudes, and remote lakes.
Wisconsin also has adopted a culture of biking throughout its cities. For example, Milwaukee by Bike is a program that the local government created to promote health and alternative travel methods. The idea includes the development and implementation of a public bike-sharing system with 57 initial stations, bike parking throughout the city, a bicycle and pedestrian task force, and more than 100 miles of bike lanes and routes throughout the city streets. Furthermore, Milwaukee forms part of Open Streets, an international movement that promotes family and community while pushing health and recreation. Each year, toward the end of August, the city closes its streets to motor vehicle traffic and opens it up to those who want to walk, jog, and ride a bike.
Bicycling enthusiasts of all levels have many places to visit, with natural, quiet, and unique biking trails throughout the state. For example, interested parties can visit the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. Administrated by the US Fish and Wildlife Services, the Horicon Marsh is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the country. The location is ideal for nature walks, biking, and car tours. A 36-mile circuit offers visitors with wildlife observation areas and a stretch through the Wild Goose State Trail. Those who want a family trail within a city can travel the Polish Moon Ride, which tours the historic Polish neighborhoods within the city limits of Milwaukee. The rhythm of the bike ride makes it ideal for people of all ages and levels. The trail pays homage to the history and culture of Polish and German immigrants and has perfect places within the trail to rest and enjoy the diversity of foods available in the area.
The Old Abe State Trail is 20 miles on an abandoned railroad grade that follows undeveloped shoreline of the beautiful Chippewa River. It is part of the Chippewa Valley Trail System that, when completed, will feature an 70 to 80-mile network of trail stretching from Cornell, through Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire to Durand and Menomonie. The beautiful scenery and wildlife makes this a relaxing road to travel on.
Elroy – Sparta
A section of the Chicago and North Western railway became one of the most popular recreational trails in the country, covering 33.8 miles of routes. People can also walk the trail in the spring and summer or ride snowmobiles in the winter. Three rock tunnels highlight the route and unite communities including Elroy, the Driftless Region, Kendall, Wilton, Norwalk, and Sparta. These areas can be somewhat remote so communication is important in cases of emergency. Make sure to visit one of the many AT&T stores in Wisconsin to ensure that you have the best coverage available. Then pack enough water and supplies and have a camera ready to capture the spectacular beauty that the Wisconsin biking trails offer.