Discover 24 of the Best Wisconsin Bike Trails This Summer
Travel studies are showing us that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers tend to prefer staycations and other destinations close to home for this summer. Wisconsinites are pretty lucky, then, as there are so many wonderful places to explore right here in our own back yard. From Great Wisconsin bike trails and plenty of hiking to canoeing, kayaking, and exploring Wisconsin's majestic state parks, there's definitely no shortage of fun things to do in Wisconsin this summer.
If you're looking for the best places to stay in Wisconsin, turn to our incredible and unique collection of Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. As traditionally small properties, you can rest assured knowing each of them is licensed, inspected, and insured. With unmatched standards for cleanliness and professional innkeepers dedicated to hospitality and service, choosing a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast is truly choosing The Safer Way to Stay.
As you start to plan your travel around the state of Wisconsin this summer, look to our collection of Inns for your perfect home away from home. You won't be disappointed. Browse our incredible collection of Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts today!
Wisconsin Bike Trails you Really Must Ride This Summer
There are a number of ways to enjoy Wisconsin, but one of our favorite activities that can be enjoyed virtually anywhere in the state is biking. Whether you're an avid cyclist training for an event and need to log some miles on your vacation, or whether you just enjoy leisurely rides in the countryside, there are plenty of delightful Wisconsin bike trails to explore around the state. What's better, is that many of these incredible trails wind their way through some of the most scenic parts of the state, giving you a true appreciation for just how pretty the state of Wisconsin is.
In fact, Wisconsin is one of the best states in the nation for biking, thanks in large part to the nation's Rails-to-Trails Conservancy program. There are 41 state-level Wisconsin bike trails, and most of them are rail-trails. Altogether, there are more than 90 Wisconsin bike trails stretching across the state - and truly probably many more we don't even know about. Needless to say, you have a lot of options before you.
Of course, there are a few big-name Wisconsin Bike Trails, like the Elroy-Sparta Trail, that we think you just shouldn't miss. But, apart from that, there are a number of small and equally as incredible trails to enjoy. As always, your Innkeeper is your best local resource! We've gathered up 24 of our favorite Wisconsin bike trails from around the state by region, starting off with the most popular trails in the area, and highting a few others you may not have heard of. We've also linked to the nearest Bed and Breakfasts, to make finding and choosing an adventure even easier. Happy riding!
Southwestern Wisconsin Bike Trails
The Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Sparta, first built in 1965 and the first of the popular rails-to-trails program is one of the most popular Wisconsin bike trails, and for good reason. The trail is famous for its 3 intact rock tunnels, which are each over 140 years old. Their dark, cool interiors provide a welcome respite on a hot day, too. Along the way, scenic views of Wisconsin's rural communities will certainly delight.
Other great trails in southwestern Wisconsin include the following:
- The 400 State Trail near Reedsburg offers a beautiful ride through Wetlands, wildlife, sandstone bluffs, rolling croplands, and pastures. In other words, it's the best of Wisconsin on one great trail.
- Great River State Trail offers incomparable views of the backwater areas of the Mississippi River, and also offers extraordinary opportunities for bird watching along the Mississippi Flyway.
- La Crosse River State Trail near La Crosse serves as a great connector trail to those looking to do longer rides in the area, especially if you want to tackle the Elroy Sparta Trail and the Great River State Trail.
- Mountain bikers won't want to miss their opportunity to bike the Kickapoo Valley Reserve here. It's one of the most beautiful parts of Wisconsin's Driftless Region.
Great places to stay near these trails include the following Inns: Justin Trails Resort in Sparta; Westby House Inn B&B in Westby; Four Gables Bed and Breakfast in La Crosse; Cream Pitcher Bed and Breakfast in Blue River; Sheer Memories' Guest Cottage in Muscoda.
Biking in Southern Wisconsin (South-Central and South-East)
The Badger State Trail starts in Madison and heads south to the Illinois border, passing farmlands, woods, rolling hills, scenic meadows, and plenty of small rural communities along the way. One of the most popular features on the trail is a 1,200-foot tunnel, unique in that it curves in the middle so you can't see the opposite end of the tunnel as you enter it.
Other great trails in this region include the following:
- The Capital City State Trail in Madison offers a beautiful way to tour the city, and also connects up to many of the other trails mentioned here for extended trips.
- Governor Dodge State Park is a truly beautiful park to explore. Spend a day biking among the steep hills, bluffs, and valleys, stopping along the way to enjoy a restful afternoon break at the area's waterfall and lakes. It's one of the most popular Wisconsin State Parks for a reason!
- Military Ridge State Trail near Blue Mounds is an old military trail dating back to 1855. There are several observation areas just off the trail, too, which allows you to view the wildlife and other geological features of the area.
- The Sugar River State Trail in New Glarus is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and is a great place to see wildlife. There are also a number of scenic bridges to ride over along the way.
- Riding along the Wild Goose State Trail, near Horicon Marsh, is one of the best ways to experience the Marsh and enjoy the 250+ bird species found in this area.
Great places to stay near these trails include the following Inns: The Buckingham Inn in Madison; Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison; The Livingston Inn in Madison; The Speckled Hen Inn in Madison; Honeybee Inn in Horicon; Silver Star B&B in Spring Green; Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville.
Central Wisconsin Bike Trails (and east-central)
Glacial Drumlin State Trail offers 52 miles of trails between Wisconsin's two biggest urban areas, Madison and Waukesha (just outside of Milwaukee). Don't forget to stop and take a selfie at Rock Lake Bridge near Lake Mills. As you move out of the city, there are plenty of ponds, rivers, and marshes to enjoy, along with the variety of wildlife that calls them home.
More Wisconsin bike trails in central Wisconsin include:
- Devil's River State Trail, near Manitowoc, is a beautiful rural trail that features two dramatic railroad trestles crossing the Devil's River and tributaries.
- Kettle Morain State Forest - Northern Unit near West Bend is an incredibly beautiful area renownded for its scenic natural beauty and home to incredible biodiversity.
- Kohler-Andre State Park in Sheboygan explores the scenic shoreline of Lake Michigan with its majestic sand dunes, miles of stuning beach, and sparkling blue water.
Great places to stay near these Wisconsin bike trails include the following Inns: Westport Bed and Breakfast in Manitowoc; Red Forest Bed and Breakfast in Two Rivers; Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls; Fargo Mansion Inn in Lake Mills; Sweet Autumn Inn in Lake Mills.
Wisconsin Bike Trails in Northeastern Wisconsin
Ahnapee State Trail, in Door County, starts in downtown Sturgeon Bay and makes its way south to the charming lakeside town of Algoma. The habitats you'll encounter here include evergreen glades, farmland, and prairies, all of which are positively brimming with wildlife and native wildflowers.
A few more Wisconsin bike trails to consider here include:
- Fox River State Trail near Green Bay follows the beautiful Fox River, an area rich with Native American history and scenic beauty.
- Mountain-Bay State Trail, starting at Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau, is one of the longest rail-trails in Wisconsin, ending in Green Bay.
- Peninsula State Park is situated on the shores of Door County, offering exceptional biking, wildlife viewing, and other recreation in one of the most scenic parts of the state.
- Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area in Wausau is one of the most popular areas for hiking and biking in the Wausau area. The area also hosts a number of mountain bike races throughout the year.
Great places to stay near these Wisconsin bike trails include the following Inns: The Scofield House in Sturgeon Bay; White Lace Inn in Sturgeon Bay; Garden Gate Bed and Breakfast in Sturgeon Bay; Stewart Inn in Wausau.
Northwestern Wisconsin Biking Trails
Gandy Dancer State Trail near St. Croix Falls is a truly breathtaking trail. It travels north for 98 miles, even popping across the border into Minnesota for a period of time, crossing a 520-foot trestle across the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Find these additional Wisconsin bike trails in northwestern Wisconsin:
- Old Abe State Trail near Chippewa Falls is a relatively flat trail, as most old rail-trails are, and winds its way through agricultural and forest land and along the beautiful Chippewa River.
- Chippewa River State Trail near Eau Claire also navigates along the Chippewa River and takes riders across a number of varied habitats, including prairies, sandstone bluffs, and wetlands.
- Madeline Island, just off the coast near Bayfield, is certainly a unique place to do some biking! It's absolutely beautiful though and easily reached via ferry from Bayfield. It's the largest of the Apostle Islands and offers a number of scenic rural roads and Wisconsin bike trails to explore.
Great places to stay near these trails include the following Inns: Inn on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls; The Cobblestone Bed and Breakfast in Birchwood; Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield.
The Safest & Best Places to Stay in Wisconsin
We talk a lot about how great Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts are, and it's true. There's a reason so many of them are ranked as the best places to stay in Wisconsin. They really are a delightful alternative to big and impersonal hotel chains where your stay is often nothing but a warm (and only sometimes comfortable) bed.
Alternatively, when you stay at one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts, you not only have a comfortable place to stay, but we'll feed you each morning with a freshly made breakfast, we'll welcome you with big smiles and honest hospitality, and we'll go the extra mile to make sure your stay is anything but ordinary.
Though we think our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts are always among the best places to stay in Wisconsin, we think the distinction between our collection of Inns and other lodging is something that really matters in today's environment. In a post-pandemic world, odds are you're going to be looking for someplace that is clean and as safe as possible; that's what you'll find at our Inns.
Our Inns are small, meaning you won't be surrounded by large and unexpected crowds. We've always been all about cleanliness and the guest experience, but this is at the forefront of what we do every day, now more so than ever. Go ahead. Seek the unique, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on these Wisconsin bike trails this summer. Book a room at the best places to stay in Wisconsin today!