April 07, 2021 6 min read

Wisconsin is a great state for people who want to get out and ride off-road, but there are also plenty of roads that are perfect for road cyclists. There are even some great scenic ebike rides close to Milwaukee. This isn't a comprehensive list of rides in the state, but if you find yourself searching for places to bike in Wisconsin, the following trails, loops and point-to-point routes should be on your list.

24 Best BIke Trails in Wisconsin

Southwestern Wisconsin Bike Trails

Elroy-Sparta State Trail (map)

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Sparta, which opened in 1965 and was the first of the successful rails-to-trails program, is one of Wisconsin's most popular bike trails, and with good reason. The trail is known for its three preserved rock tunnels, one of which is more than 140 years old. On a hot day, their quiet, cool interiors are a welcome relief. The scenic views of Wisconsin's rural communities will undoubtedly delight you along the way.

The 400 State Trail (map)

Near Reedsburg, the 400 State Trail offers a scenic trip through wetlands, wildlife, sandstone bluffs, rolling croplands, and pastures. Simply put, it's the best of Wisconsin mixed into one awesome trail.

Great River State Trail (map)

The Great River State Trail includes breathtaking views of the Mississippi River's backwaters, as well as exceptional opportunities for bird watching along the Mississippi Flyway.

La Crosse River State Trail (map)

The Mississippi Flyway's Great River State Trail offers incredible views of the Mississippi River's backwater habitats, as well as exceptional opportunities for bird watching.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve (map)

Mountain bikers would want to take advantage of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. It's one of Wisconsin's most breathtaking areas of the Driftless Area.

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is an 8,600-acre tract of public land in southwestern Wisconsin, situated between the villages of La Farge and Ontario. It is one-of-a-kind due to its culture, wealth, management, and recreational variety.

Southern Wisconsin Bike Trails (South-Central and South East)

Badger State Trail (map)

The Badger State Trail runs from Madison to the Illinois border, running through farms, forests, rolling hills, scenic meadows, and several small rural villages. A 1,200-foot tunnel is one of the trail's most common attractions, and it's unusual in that it curves in the middle so you can't see the other end when you reach it.

Capital City State Trail (map)

The Capital City State Trail in Madison is a lovely way to see the city while still linking to many of the other trails on this list for longer ebike rides.

Governor Dodge State Park (map)

Governor Dodge State Park is a stunning place to visit. Spend the day riding along the area's steep hills, bluffs, and valleys, pausing for a relaxing afternoon break at the area's waterfalls and lakes. There's a reason it's one of Wisconsin's most famous state parks!

Military Ridge State Trail (map)

Military Ridge State Trail, located near Blue Mounds, is an old military trail that dates from 1855. There are also some viewing areas off the trail where you can see the nearby wildlife and geological features.

Sugar River State Trail (map)

The Sugar River State Trail in New Glarus is a wonderful spot to see nature and is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Along the way, there are many scenic bridges to fly over. There’s also a lot of scenic bridges you can ride across along the way.

Wild Goose State Trail (map)

This 34-mile rail trail follows the western edge of the vast Horicon Marsh, a National Wildlife Refuge and home to more than 250 migratory bird species. The Wild Goose State Trail, which is owned and run by Dodge and Fond du Lac counties, was Wisconsin's first "cooperative" state trail. The trail passes from Clyman Junction to Fond du Lac, going through many small towns along the way.

Central Wisconsin Bike Trails

Glacial Drumlin State Trail (map)

The Glacial Drumlin State Trail connects Wisconsin's two largest cities, Madison and Waukesha, with 52 miles of trails (just outside of Milwaukee). Don't hesitate to stop at Rock Lake Bridge near Lake Mills for a selfie. When you leave the capital, you'll find plenty of wetlands, waterways, and marshes to enjoy, as well as the diverse wildlife that inhabits them.

Devil’s River State Trail

This scenic rail trail in Brown and Manitowoc counties passes through four rural villages and passes through a diverse landscape of farmlands, prairies, ponds, and wetlands. The Devil's River and its tributaries are crossed by two dramatic railroad trestles on the trail.

Kettle Moraine State Forest (map)

The Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is home to more than 22,000 acres of forested glacial slopes, kettle lakes, and prairies, as well as more than 100 miles of mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, and nature trails. On the Ice Age Trail, there are three family campgrounds, a horse riders camp, two group camps, and remote backpack shelters.

Kohler-Andrae State Park (map)

With its magnificent sand dunes, miles of beautiful beach, and clear blue water, Kohler-Andre State Park in Sheboygan explores the scenic shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Bike Trails in Northeastern Wisconsin

Ahnapee State Trail (map)

In Door County, the Ahnapee State Trail runs from downtown Sturgeon Bay to Algoma, a quaint lakeside town. Evergreen glades, farmland, and prairies are only a handful of the landscapes you'll come across here, and they're all teeming with wildlife and native wildflowers.

Fox River State Trail 

The Fox River State Trail begins in downtown Green Bay and makes its way through the magnificent Fox River before continuing for 25 miles along a former rail corridor. The Fox River corridor has a long tradition, dating back to Native Americans who moved between their settlements along the river on footpaths. These trails were used by early French explorers, missionaries, and traders to establish their posts and missions.

Mountain-Bay State Trail (Marathon County, Shawano County, Brown County)

One of Wisconsin's longest rail-trails is the Mountain-Bay State Trail. Rib Mountain and Green Bay are the geologic features after which the trail is named. It runs for 83 miles between them. The trail ends in Weston, Wisconsin, just east of Wausau, on its western edge. The trail stops in the city of Green Bay on the eastern end at Howard Memorial Park. In the city of Shawano, near the Wolf River, there is a short gap in the trail, which is connected by local roads.

Peninsula State Park (summer map, winter map)

Peninsula State Park, located on the shores of Door County, provides excellent walking, wildlife watching, and other recreational opportunities in one of Wisconsin's most scenic areas.

Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area (map)

Wausau's Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area is one of the most popular hiking and biking destinations in the area. Throughout the year, the city hosts a lot of mountain bike events.

Northwestern Wisconsin Biking Trails

Gandy Dancer State Trail (map)

The Gandy Dancer State Trail, located near St. Croix Falls, is a truly spectacular trail. It continues 98 miles north, crossing a 520-foot trestle over the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, and also crossing the border into Minnesota for a short time.

Old Abe State Trail (map)

The Old Abe State Trail links Lake Wissota State Park and Brunet Island State Park along a 20-mile paved trail. The trail follows the undeveloped shoreline of the scenic Chippewa River and is built on a former railroad slope. It winds through agricultural and woodland land. The path is home to a diverse range of wildlife and natural scenery, as well as many historical sites.

Chippewa River State Trail (map)

This 30-mile path starts at Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire, at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, and snakes its way south along the Chippewa River, passing across a number of landscapes such as river bottoms, prairies, sandstone bluffs, and wetlands. The trail connects to the Red Cedar State Trail at the confluence of the Red Cedar and Chippewa Rivers in the Dunnville Wildlife Area and finishes in Durand.

Madeline Island (map)

Madeline Island, located just off the coast of Bayfield, is a really special spot to bike! It is utterly stunning and is easily accessible from Bayfield by ferry. It's the biggest of the Apostle Islands, with beautiful country roads and Wisconsin cycle paths to discover.

Dean DuMez
Dean DuMez


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