Biking Southwest Wisconsin Day Trips
Great River State Trail
Take a pedal down the Mississippi River on the Great River State Trail. Enjoy 24 miles of the most beautiful scenery in the Midwest. The trail traverses along 18 different waterways, crosses over the Black River on a 287-foot former railroad trestle, and follows Lake Onalaska and the BNSF railway. From its trailhead in Onalaska, all the way to Trempealeau, the Great River State Trail is one beautiful landscape after another and is perfect for any type of bicycle. Cross-country skiing starts in Onalaska and continues the entire length of the trail. Snowmobiling is permitted only in designated areas.
The Great River State Trail is conveniently accessed by this Wisconsin-Inns B&B:
Elroy-Sparta State Trail
Elroy-Sparta State Trail was opened in 1967. This is the granddaddy of them all! The Elroy-Sparta Trail was the first rails-to-trails conversion in the country and it is perennially one of the most popular bicycling destinations in the state. Located in one of the most scenic parts of Wisconsin, the trail is one of the few flat surfaces in a land of narrow valleys and steep wooded bluffs.
Three tunnels are a big part of the trail's appeal. The longest, between Sparta and Norwalk, is more than three-quarters of a mile long. Walking through the tunnels, (you can't ride them), is an adventure in itself. The small towns en-route all have a bike-friendly atmosphere; after all, the trail has made them famous. Bike Trails are surfaced with fine limestone or similar materials. There is no charge for snowmobiling or hiking. Trail passes are required for bikers 16 years of age or older.
The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is conveniently accessed by these Wisconsin-Inns B&Bs:
The La Crosse River State Trail
The 21.5 mile La Crosse River State Trail follows the winding route of the La Crosse River, taking bicyclists from Onalaska to Sparta. As you pedal the La Crosse River State Trail, you'll enjoy bridges over crystal clear trout streams and picturesque farms. Like the Great River State Trail, the La Crosse River State Trail has a smooth surface that can accommodate both road bicycles and mountain bikes. Part of the trail even runs parallel to an active rail line.
The La Crosse River State Trail is conveniently accessed by these Wisconsin-Inns B&Bs:
The 400 State Trail
The 400 State Trail is located between Reedsburg and Elroy with 5 communities conveniently spaced along the trail to provide small town hospitality. The Trail Headquarters is located in the historic depot in Reedsburg. The communities located along the trail between Reedsburg and Elroy are La Valle - 7 miles from Reedsburg, Wonewoc - 7 miles from La Valle, and Union Center - 4 miles from Wonewoc or Elroy.
In June of 1993, the 400 State Trail was officially opened. It was developed on an abandoned Chicago-Northwestern Railroad bed and was named for the Chicago - Northwestern passenger train that traveled the 400 miles between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul in 400 minutes. Packed limestone screenings and bridges with planked floors provide a smooth bike riding surface.
Wetlands, sandstone bluffs, rolling croplands and pastures are just a few of the sights that visitors will enjoy on the 400 trail as it repeatedly criss crosses the Baraboo River. The entire length of the trail follows along the river valley. Snowmobiles use the trail in the winter months. A unique feature of the 400 trail is a 7 mile horse trail which parallels the bike trail between Wonewoc and LaValle.
The 400 State Trail is conveniently accessed by these Wisconsin-Inns B&Bs:
As trailhead for the Omaha Trail, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin is the getaway to exciting bicycling adventures. Whether you're a serious cyclist or someone who enjoys clean country air and taking a leisurely-paced ride on a secluded trail, you'll love this 12 1/2 mile, seal-coated bike trail that features an 875' tunnel. The county-owned and maintained Omaha Trail connects in Elroy with the world-famous Elroy-Sparta Trail and the 400 State Trail.
The bike trails are open for snowmobilers from mid-December to mid March.
The Omaha Trail is conveniently accessed by Wisconsin-Inns B&Bs:
On-Road Riding Bike Tours - Roadies! Discover what the locals have known for years; the Wisconsin dairy roads make for hundreds (yes, hundreds) of options for road riding in every direction. Sparta "Road Tours Maps" available - Ridgeville Ramble 36.9 miles, Booney Biken 19.1 miles, and Up North 26.3 miles of bike friendly tours. They will take you down country lanes where wild flowers grow to the edge of the pavement; through forest that canopy the roadway; perfect for relaxing biking.
On-Road Biking is conveniently accessed by these Wisconsin-Inns B&Bs: