If you're looking for fun ways to explore the beautiful state of Wisconsin this year, we recommend you start by exploring the various Wisconsin Bike Trails found around the state. Many of the top Wisconsin bike trails travel through the most scenic parts of the state, giving you an unprecedented opportunity to explore and enjoy the best of Wisconsin.
Like hiking, biking is an exceedingly popular activity to enjoy in Wisconsin. It could be because one of the nation's first Rails to Trails projects, the Elroy Sparta Trail, was completed here in Wisconsin. But more than that, few other states have managed to create such a robust network of trails and inspired such a love of outdoor adventure as ours.
In fact, at the end of 2022, Governor Evers of Wisconsin announced that Wisconsin's Outdoor Recreation Industry saw a record-breaking year in 2021, contributing a record-setting $8.7 billion to the state's GDP. This was a 14% growth in this sector of the state's economy, and we think it's because of the incredible network of things like Wisconsin bike trails, among other recreational opportunities, not to mention our state's general love of the outdoors.
So as you plan your upcoming adventures for 2023, include plenty of time to explore the outdoors with us. While you're exploring the far reaches of the state, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to unwind at the leading Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association offers the finest collection of Inns in many of the state's top destinations. Book your room today.
The Best Wisconsin Bike Trails to Explore in 2023
We briefly mentioned that Wisconsin was one of the first states in the nation to develop trails with the Rails to Trails Conservancy Program, but did you know that to date, there are more than 90 of these trails in the state? What started with the famed Elroy-Sparta Trail in 1965 has since blossomed into some of the most incredible Wisconsin bike trails. In fact, most of Wisconsin's State Biking Trails are former railroad lines converted into valuable public recreation trails.
Beyond having some truly wonderful Wisconsin bike trails, many of our cities also lead the way in two-wheeled transportation efforts. Madison, for example, has earned Platinum status with the League of American Bicyclists for being so bike-friendly. So whether your adventures are urban in nature or you prefer to spend time in Wisconsin's rural communities, know there will be plenty of fantastic Wisconsin bike trails for you to explore.
Below, we've listed 15 Wisconsin bike trails you may not have heard of yet, along with a few perennial favorites that always earn a spot on our "must-ride" lists each year.
- We've mentioned it a couple of times, but no list of the best Wisconsin bike trails would be complete without mention of the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. It's a scenic ride through Wisconsin's Driftless Region and is well-known for the large and intact tunnels that you'll encounter along the way.
- Though the Elroy-Sparta Trail is a huge draw for visitors to the Sparta and La Crosse areas, another great trail nearby is the 22-mile La Crosse River State Trail.
- Many visitors to the lakeside town of Bayfield come for the opportunity to visit the Apostle Islands, but did you also know there's great biking up here? Head to Madeline Island and enjoy some fantastic biking.
- If you're looking for trails with longer rides, don't miss the Tuscobia Trail. This 74-mile trail is one of the longest in the state and runs from Park Falls to the Wild Rivers State Trail just north of Rice Lake.
- The Pine River Recreation Trail in southern Wisconsin offers a charming ride through Richland Country. It's a truly scenic ride, navigating through river bluffs, marshlands, and forested woodlands.
- Another of the lesser-known Wisconsin bike trails in southern Wisconsin is the Military Ridge State Trail, which travels for 40 miles and connects Dodgeville and Madison.
- If you happen to find yourself on the Military Ridge Trail, it connects up to another of our favorite Wisconsin bike trails, the Badger State Trail. This trail traverses plenty of rural farmland and beautiful scenery and small communities, and serves as an important connection to other area trails, including those that connect to Madison.
- One of our favorite Wisconsin bike trails is the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. This trail stretches for 52 miles and connects Wisconsin's two largest urban centers.
- Reedsburg is the biking capital of Wisconsin, and though there are a number of Wisconsin bike trails in that area, one of the best is the 400 State Trail. This 100-mile trail can also connect up to the famed Elroy-Sparta Trail.
- The Eisenbahn State Trail offers 25 miles of relatively flat and easy riding for riders of all abilities and stretches from the small town of West Bend to the beautiful landscapes of the Kettle Moraine Forest.
- For a unique 40-mile ride connecting the charming towns of Cedarburg and Port Washington, give the Ozaukee Interurban Trail a try.
- In the Waupaca/Chain O'Lakes Areas, you'll find some fantastic Wisconsin bike trails. One of the best is the 25-mile River Ridge Trail, which circles the city of Waupaca. The Tomorrow River State Trail is another great choice in the area.
- The Wild Goose State Trail near the Horicon Marsh is truly spectacular, especially if you time it to be in the area during prime birdwatching season this spring or fall.
- Enjoy some gorgeous coastal views of Lake Michigan as you bike down the 125+ miles of the Oak Leaf Trail. It's a fantastic way to explore the Milwaukee Metro area.
- The Old Abe State Trail, another rails-to-trails project, offers 20 fantastic miles of biking near Chippewa Falls. It features a lot of historical sites but also connects to several other Wisconsin bike trails in the area.
Look here for even more great biking inspiration around our many fantastic Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin.
Discover Unique Places to Stay in Wisconsin
As you embark on your biking adventures around Wisconsin, finding the best Wisconsin bike trails is just the beginning. You'll also want a comfortable place to rest your weary legs and put your feet up in the afternoons - and maybe even a place that offers you a hearty and delicious breakfast in the morning before a new day of adventure. There's truly no better or more unique places to stay in Wisconsin than those represented by the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association.
When it comes to finding a friendly, comfortable, and convenient place to stay in Wisconsin, you can do far better than a traditional hotel chain. There's nothing unique about most hotel chains, which have distilled down the true Wisconsin hospitality experience to an unrecognizable point. Instead, choose the best alternative, and stay at the top Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin.
The Innkeepers are our Inns will welcome you with big smiles and honest hospitality, and we'll go the extra mile to ensure your stay is anything but ordinary. Our small size ensures you won't be surrounded by large, boisterous crowds, and cleanliness is always at the forefront of your stay. Seek the unique, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the best Wisconsin bike trails in 2023. Book a room at the most unique places to stay in Wisconsin today!