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Wisconsin Mountain Bike and Off-Road Trails

Wisconsin Bicycle Trails Search Tool

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Chequamegon Area Trails
Devil's Lake State Park Trails
Emma Carlin Trails
Governor Dodge State Park Trails
Greenbush Trails
Hartman Creek State Park Trails
John Muir Trails
Levis/Trow Mounds Trails
Lowes Creek Trails
New Fane Trails
Perry Creek Trail
Pines and Mines Trails
Raven Trails

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Chequamegon Area Trails

    Today, the CAMBA Trails consist of one of the most extensive networks of IMBA-designed (International Mountain Bike Association) single-track in the country. Single-track represents the holy grail of cross country mountain biking, and riders will travel great distances in search of it. The CAMBA Trails are quite literally one of the finest mountain biking destinations, not just in Wisconsin, but in the entire United States. Additionally, riders will find abundant riding on grassy and gravel forest roads, as well as a technical terrain park to put your mountain bike handling skills to the test. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride in the forest or some of the most challenging terrain in the country, you will find a trail to suit your riding style.

    Distance

      More than 300 miles of signed trails
    Difficulty
      Easy to very difficult.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails, logging roads, snowmobile trail, gravel and sandy forest roads. There is soft surface in some low spots.
    Signage
      Frequent blue and white CAMBA signs and periodic "you are here" map signs.
    Trailhead Locations
      13 trailhead locations across 6 separate clusters of trails. Please visit the CAMBA website for trailhead locations.
    For More Information
      Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 800-724-2992.
      Cable Area Chamber of Commerce and Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA), tel. 800-533-7454.

Devil's Lake State Park Trails

    The Wisconsin River once flowed where Devil's Lake now lies. In its last gasp, the continental glacier blocked both ends of the river's quartzite gorge with moraine. The clean, blue lake and rocky bluffs it left make Devil's Lake one on the most scenic spots in the state, and a great place to mountain bike.

    If you start at the north shore you'll have a long, slow grind up to the Ice Age loop. There's more steep going mid-way through the forest of pine, and shag-bark hickory. Your reward will be a scenic overlook of the former river channel. Looking to the right you can clearly see the rising plug of moraine that conains the lake. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      6 miles, including out-and-back on the trail to the ampitheatre.
    Difficulty
      Difficult sections must be ridden to complete the loop, but two-way trails allow out-and-back rides.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails with a hardpack track, bare forest floor, old gravel road, and rocks and roots on steep slopes.
    Signage
      Periodic green and white mountain bike signs. The trail is not well signed near the amphitheatre. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      The bluff top trailhead is on County DL, 1.5 miles east of the north shore park entrance, Sauk County. The north shore trailhead is located near the park's ampitheatre.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required.
    For More Information
      Devil's Lake State Park, tel. 608-356-8301
      Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 800-227-2266.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails. Always phone ahead to make sure trails are open for riding.
    Caution
      Downhills are fast and rough. The trail is also used by hikers. Always yield to pedestrians and don't spook animals.

Emma Carlin Trails

    This is the famous "kettles". It's trails have been an off-road Mecca since knobby tread met dirt. The one-way Emma Carlin Trails are at the extreme end of the riding scale. Many people would say they're unrideable and more would brand them "no fun." Steep slopes are mazes of cobbles, mini-boulders, loose surface and roots.

    If you like, you can take the Connector Trail south to the John Muir Trails and, if you ride every loop in both systems, cover nearly 40 miles.

    The Emma Carlin and adjoining John Muir Trails are among the most popular and crowded trails in the state system. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      The green-signed outer loop is 4 miles, the orange is 2.4 miles, and the red is 2 miles. The connector trail to the John Muir Trails is 5 miles.
    Difficulty
      Extremely difficult sections cannot be avoided.
    Surface Type
      Hardpack forest floor, extremely rocky and rooted on steep slopes.
    Signage
      Color coding on posts and trees and frequent "you are here" map-signs. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      3 miles east of Palmyra, Jefferson County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required. The parking lot has a self-pay station.
    For More Information
      Kettle Moraine, Southern Unit, tel. 262-594-6200.
      Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 414-473-4005.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails. Always phone ahead to make sure trails are open for riding.
    Caution
      Two-way traffic on Connector Trail. Trails are also used by hikers. Always yield to pedestrians and don't spook animals.

Governor Dodge State Park Trails

    Steep climbs are your introduction to off-roading in Wisconsin's "driftless area." You can't avoid them. The only way out of Cox Hollow is up. "Driftless" means there are no glacial boulders or debris because none of the four continental glaciers of the past million years visited this area. So the region is characterized by narrow gorges and soaring rock sculptures formed by eons of erosion cutting deeper and deeper into layers of limestone and sandstone.

    Riding at Governor Dodge is challenging, but the beauty of the woods and the overviews of the lakes and valleys make it worth the effort. Stop for a look into the depths of Lost Canyon or rest a minute on a warm, lichen covered roch outcrop to appreciate nature's handiwork. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      3.3 miles for the Mill Creek loop; 6.9 miles for the Meadow Valley and Gold Mine trails loop.
    Difficulty
      Moderate to difficult. The Mill Creek Trail is made less difficult by a paved surface on the steep climb.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails with hardpack track at times. Rough horse trails, steep rocky slopes and some soft sand on the north loop. Paved surface on the connector trail to the Military Ridge State Trail.
    Signage
      Green and white mountain bike signs and frequent "you are here" map signs. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      Cox Hollow Beach at Governor Dodge State Park, 5 miles north of Dodgeville, Iowa County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required.
    For More Information
      Governor Dodge State Park, tel. 608-935-2315.
      Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 608-935-9200.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails. Allways phone ahead to make sure trails are open for riding.
    Caution
      Sections are shared with horseback riders. Stay on the trail, even when letting horses pass, as poison ivy is common.

Greenbush Trails

    The Greenbush trails dish out some tough kettle moraine riding. Kettle moraine is the geographical equivalent of Swiss Cheese. The last great glacier formed deep hollows with steep sides that were made when huge, building-sized ice blocks were churned in with glacial till. After the glacier retreated and the ice blocks melted, deep ruts formed. These make a rocky, roller coaster bike ride. Kettle, or interlobate moraine, can be found where two glacial ice sheets ground against each other. In the Kettle Moraine State Forest they got a real workout. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      The yellow signed loop is 5.1 miles; the green is 3.6 miles; the red is 2.4 mile; and the pink is 1.1 miles.
    Difficulty
      Difficult riding on every loop.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails with a hardpack track in places. Often rough and rocky with some soft surface in low areas.
    Signage
      Brown and white bike silhouette signs at trailhead. Yellow, green, red and pink color-coded posts en-route. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      Greenbush Picnic Area on Kittle Moraine Dr, 3 miles south of Hwy 23 and the village of Greenbush, Sheboygan County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required. There is a self-pay station at the trailhead.
    For More Information
      Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit, tel. 414-626-2116.
      Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, tel. 920-893-0079.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails.
    Caution
      A horse trail crosses all but the pink loop.

Hartman Creek State Park Trails

    Tucked away in the Chain O' Lakes/Waupaca area is a pleasant introduction to off-road riding on glacial terrain. At Harman Creek State Park you can ride on the leavings of the Green Bay Lobe of the most recent great continental ice sheet. As that glacier melted, it revived several times. Pushing forward again and again, it left a series of debis-strewn ridges called recessional moraines.

    These moraines make for gentler riding than you'll find on other glaciated terrain. Still, they share the rolling character that make riding this type of landscape so much fun. The mix of pine, oak and maple forest add to the experience. The prospect of a post-ride swim in Hartman Lake doesn't hurt either.

    Distance

      8 miles if all trails are ridden. The Glacial Trail loop is 3.3 miles. The Windfeldt Trail loop is 3.0 miles.
    Difficulty
      Easy.
    Surface Type
      Mainly grassy cross-country ski trails with some hardpack track, soft sand and forest floor.
    Signage
      Brown and white mountain bike signs and frequent "you are here" map signs.
    Trailhead Location
      In Hartman Creek State Park at the west end of Windfeldt Ln, Portage County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required.
    For More Information
      Hartman Creek State Park, tel. 715-258-2372.
      Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc., tel. 800-236-2222.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails.

John Muir Trails

    The John Muir Trails are extremely popular. On any nice riding season weekend the site seems like a gathering of the off-road clan. Part of the ambiance of the experience is due to the knowledge and services provided by the privately-run establishments near the south and north ends of the rails. The General Store in La Grange began catering to cross-country skiers and quickly became a center for mountain bikers as the sport grew. The new Quiet Hut Sports and Artisan Cafe at Bluff Road now satisfies nutritional and mechanical needs at that end.

    Recent improvements have made the trails an even better place to bike. Heavy use caused erosion on steep slopes and many of the the trails have been redisigned and "hardened" with sub-soil artificial grid work. One way routing and numerous loops make for a good riding experience despite crowding. The trails are the site of the Kettle Moraine Fall Color Festival in late September. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      The blue signed outer loop is 10 miles; the red is 1.5 miles; and the green is 6.9 miles. The connector trail is 5 miles to the Emma Carlin Trails.
    Difficulty
      Some easy riding on the red loop, but most trails will be difficult for novice riders.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails with hardpack track, forest floor, and crushed limestone over plastic-grid artificial trail stabilizing material.
    Signage
      Color coding on posts and trees and frequent "you are here" map signs. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      1.5 miles north of La Grange, Walworth County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required. The parking lot has a self-pay station.
    For More Information
      Kettle Moraine, Southern Unit, tel. 262-594-6200.
      James Wamser, tel. 262-617-8272.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails. Allways phone ahead to make sure trails are open for riding.
    Caution
      Two-way traffic on Connector Trail. Trails are also used by hikers. Always yield to pedestrians and don't spook animals.

Levis/Trow Mounds Trails

    Whether you circle Levis and Trow Mounds or go over them, you're in for some terrific off-road riding and fine scenery. At one time the mounds were nunataks -- islands rising above a sea of glacial ice. This spared the rugged sandstone crags that jut up from the rolling forest floor.

    Buff-colored outcroppings can be spotted from the easy trails. On the extreme single track you ride right under them in some places. Getting there will take every bit of skill and ounce of strenth you have. The side-hill single track is usually soft with many switch-backs. People race over them in the annual Buzzard Buster in late September. Keep track of how often you have to put a foot down, if you can count that high.

    Distance

      12 miles of trails total. The outer loop is 7 miles.
    Difficulty
      Easy to extreme. Difficult sections can be avoided.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails, often sandy. Steep sections are rocky at times. The single track is rocky, rooted forest floor and sometimes sandy.
    Signage
      Cross-country ski trail markers.
    Trailhead Location
      Parking lot near the junction of county J and Hwy 95, 12 miles southwest of Neillsville, 6 miles east of Merrillan, Clark County.
    Fees
      There is a self-pay trail fee station at the trailhead.
    For More Information
      Neillsville Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 715-743-6444.
    Caution
      Extreme single track requires expert riding skills.

Lowes Creek Trails

    As Lowes Creek winds its way to the Chippewa River it meanders through a pleasant valley. The tranquillity at Lowes Creek County Park belies the fact that it is just beyond the city of Eau Claire and busy I-94. It's a fun place to ride for beginners or riders who want an easy cruise. And you have ready access to the attractions Eau Claire has to offer, especially if you use Fairfax Park for a trailhead.

    The two-way cross-country ski trail system has numerous loops and shortcuts allowing nearly endless route variety. Despite minimal signage, it's simple to find your way around. Trails wind through a mix of oak and pine woods and grassy fields. There is about 50 feet of relief near Lowes Creed to make you work a bit. Whether you ride hard or easy, the bridge across the creek is a resful spott to take a break and watch the "eau claire" (French for "clearwater") flow. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      5.4 miles of trail total. The west loop is 1.3 miles, the center loop is 1.0 mile, and the east loop is 2.7 miles.
    Difficulty
      Mostly easy.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails and some soft sand.
    Signage
      Minimal cross-country ski trail signs.
    Trailhead Locations
      Lowes Creek County Park, 3 miles from the I-94/Hwy 93 exit for Eau Claire and Eleva (via either Golf Rd or Deerfield Rd). Or Fairfax Park, 1 mile from the I-94/Hwy 93 exit. Eau Claire County.
    Fees
      None for the trails.
    For More Information
      Eau Claire Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, tel. 800-344-FUNN.
      Eau Claire County Parks and Forests Dept., tel. 715-839-4738.

New Fane Trails

    Sweet riding. No surprises. Not that the New Fane Trails are boring. There's a decent dose of the classic kettle moraine terrain, and four loops let you mix routes. A few open areas offer overviews of the forest. When the trees close in again you're riding through birch, maple, oak and fragrant pine. Crank as hard or as easy as you want. Buy an individual bike map for these trails

    Distance

      The yellow signed loop is 3.1 miles. The green is 1.5 miles. The red is 2.4 mile. The brown is 0.7 miles.
    Difficulty
      Easy to moderate.
    Surface Type
      Wide, grassy cross-country ski trails with a hardpack track and some roots and cobble rocks on steeper slopes.
    Signage
      Brown and white bike silhouette sign at the trailhead. Yellow, green, red and pink color-coded posts en-route, red and white no-biking signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      6 miles east of U.S. 45 and the town of Kewaskum, Washington County
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required. There is a self-pay station at the trailhead.
    For More Information
      Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit, tel. 414-626-2116.
      Kewaskum Chamber of Commerce, tel. 414-626-8484.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails.

Perry Creek Trail

    Perry Creek Trail is a great ride for novices or those more interested in aesthetics than athletics. Here you can enjoy an easy roll through stands of pine, aspen, oak and maple on a trail that leads to a mini-gorge where Perry Creek meets the Black River. Top it off on foor with a short hike to Castle Mound, a half-mile-long, 200-foot-high natural monument with a spectacular balancing rock at the east end.

    Distance

      9 miles out and back.
    Difficulty
      Easy.
    Surface Type
      Wide, grassy trail with some sand and soft, swampy spots.
    Signage
      Brown and white mountain bile signs on hiking trails.
    Trailhead Location
      Picnic area parking lot at Black River State Forest Campground on Hwy. 12, 2 miles south of the I-94/Hwy 54 exit for Black River Falls, Jackson County.
    Fees
      Daily or annual State Park vehicle admission and daily or annual State Trail Pass for riders 16 and older are required.
    For More Information
      Black River State Forest, tel. 715-284-1400.
      Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 800-404-4008.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails.

Pines and Mines Trails

    Beautiful scenery and remnants of the area's great mining boom mark the Penokee Range near Hurley. With more than 300 miles of signed routes throughout Iron County, the Pines and Mines trails offer biking adventure for everyone.

    At the Plummer Mine site you'll see the last standing headframe from the mining heyday; a giant structure of iron girders that once lifted payloads of ore from thousands of feet below the surface. Pines and Mines maps show the locations of Iron County's 13 waterfalls, from the gentle cascade of Giles Falls to the 90-foot thunder of Superior Falls.

    Bike handling expertise, or at least persistence, are essential to pushing through 10-mile-long Trail 6. It winds along a jumbled ridge of volcanic rock overlaid with glacial rocks and rubble.

    Distance

      23 miles from the Montreal trailhead to the Weber Lake trailhead and back via Saxon Rd., Trail 6, County E, and back roads. 10 miles from Giles Park to the Plummer Headframe and back.
    Difficulty
      Easy riding near the towns; extremely difficult on Trail 6.
    Surface Type
      Paved, gravel roads, old rail grades, and logging roads. Rocky, rooted, loose forest floor along Trail 6.
    Signage
      Blue and white Pines and Mines bike silhouette signs.
    Trailhead Location
      Montreal City Hall on Hwy 77 and Weber Lake Park, 3.5 miles north of the village of Upson and Hwy 77, Iron County.
    Fees
      None.
    For More Information
      Pines and Mines, tel. 715-561-2922.
      Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce, tel. 866-340-4334.
    Note
      Fines apply for riding on hiking-only trails.

Raven Trails

    Your ride through this gorgeous chunk of pristine lake country begins with a flat roll on soft brown needles fallen from a cathedral of tall white pine. It's the last flat you'll see for a while, but your ride through groves of red pine and contrasting maple and white paper birch is no less mesmerizing. The south-facing shelter is a fine spot to rest, soak up the sun, and ask yourself if you've ever ridden a lovelier trail.

    Distance

      4.7 miles for the red-signed outer loop; 6.5 miles of trails in all.
    Difficulty
      Easy to difficult. Difficult sections can be avoided.
    Surface Type
      Grassy cross-country ski trails, rocky and rooted bare forest floor, with some soft sand.
    Signage
      Cross-country ski trail signs and frequent color-coded "you are here" map signs. Red and white no-biking signs on hiking trials.
    Trailhead Location
      From U.S. 51 at the Minocqua/Woodruff town line turn east on County J. Travel 1.7 miles to the Rudolph Rd/Woodruff Rd crossroads and turn south. Watch for the State Forest Nature and Hiking Trail parking lot on the east side of the road, Oneida County.
    Fees
      None.
    For More Information
      Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest, tel. 715-385-2727.
      Minocqua-Arbor Vitae-Woodruff Area Chamber, tel. 800-44-NORTH.

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