Best Rail Trails Wisconsin  by Phil Van Valkenberg

Best Rail Trails Wisconsin Guide Book

by Phil Van Valkenberg (Falcon Guides)
Best Rail Trails Wisconsin  by Phil Van Valkenberg
Best Rail Trails Wisconsin is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking, and cross-country skiing more than fifty of the best rail trails in the state that pioneered America's rail trail phenomenon. Written by a local author with expert knowledge of the region. this easy to use book provides mile by mile descriptions of the most popular rural and urban rail trails.

© 2009 Phil Van Valkenberg/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Rail Trails Wisconsin" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 24.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 24.

The trail was once the route of the Ahnapee & Western Railroad. Trains served the countryside by hauling the bounty of the land—lumber and farm products—to the lake ports. Today the rail bed opens up the peninsula’s inland to recreation seekers. The Ahnapee State Trail connects two fascinating maritime towns, Sturgeon Bay and Algoma, and provides access to Potowatomi State Park and the many attractions of Door County.
Sturgeon Bay, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 39.3
Follow part of the line where the glaciers stopped at the end of the last ice age and ride through a quarter-mile tunnel on this newest rail trail, which connect Madison to Illnois and its trail system. Wisconsin State Trails have a carry-in/carry-out policy. Make provisions for carrying out any refuse. No trash receptacles are provided on-trail. The Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required for bicyclists age sixteen and older ($4.00 daily or $20.00 annually). The trail pass also covers usage such as cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and bicycling on state mountain bike trails and other rail trails. Passes can be purchased at the New Glarus Depot, New Glarus Woods State Park, at many local businesses, and at self-pay stations at trail-access parking lots.
Madison, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 34.1
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Ride from the thriving resort town of Minocqua into the heart of the Northwoods wilderness, enjoying scenic lake views and a fine city park near the Minocqua trailhead.
Minocqua, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 18.2
This is a surprisingly secluded trail in a sprawling metropolitan area. An active quarry and three parks en route add to the interest.
Menomonee Falls, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 13.7
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Access to Olbrich Gardens, views of the State Capitol, Lake Monona, and the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center are highlights of the Capital City Trail. Soon it will connect to the Badger State Trail.
Madison, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 16.5
Scenic highlights at broad river bends and lush bottomland forest await you on the Chippewa River State Trail. The trail connects to the Red Cedar State Trail via an impressive 860-foot-long trestle, as well as to the interesting City of Eau Claire Chippewa River Trail and Carson Park.
Eau Claire, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 27.6
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This is an exceptionally beautiful trail with the added interest of three railroad tunnels along the route. Five pleasant trail towns are oriented toward “trail tourism” and cater to all types of users. Located in the heart of an Amish settlement area, the trail is linked to two other rail trails at Elroy and one other at Sparta.
Elroy Commons, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 34
The Gandy Dancer has a nice mix of woodlot, farm, marsh, and lake scenery, with frequent services at nine communities along the trail. An exceptionally scenic state park is near the southern trailhead, and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is near both ends. There is a fascinating reconstructed trading post near the north end.
St. Croix Falls, WI - Birding,Fishing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 47.1
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You’ll experience a variety of scenery, from rolling glacial hills to vast marshes to great rivers, along the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. Also of note: a glacial lake, a bison herd, and five crossings of a lazy meandering stream. The trail is near the Kettle Moraine State Forest and the ancient Native American village at Aztalan State Park.
Waukesha, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 52.4
The Glacial River Trail has a fascinating prehistoric and historic Native American heritage. There are interesting museums in the pleasant town of Fort Atkinson.
Fort Atkinson, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 8.5
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A beautiful collection of rivers great and small, a unique Mississippi River town, and three vast wildlife refuges are encountered along this trail. Near Perrot State Park, one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful parks, this is the westernmost link in a nearly continuous 100-mile rail trail system. The trail section in the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge is not open for snowmobiling, and no special grooming is done for skiing.
Medary, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 24.4
Set in a quiet rural area, the La Crosse River State Trail passes through pleasant small towns. It connects to the Great River State Trail and the Elroy-Sparta State Trail.
Sparta, WI - Fishing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 21.5
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The Military Ridge State Trail affords beautiful views from the ridgetop, passes through interesting trail towns, and provides access to Blue Mound State Park and Governor Dodge State Park. The trail leaves the rail bed and follows the natural rolling terrain on an seal-coated limestone section between Ridgeway and Dodgeville. Spur trails into Blue Mound State Park and Governor Dodge State Park are very steep. The trail is mostly open, with occasional shaded stretches. The use of sunblock is advised. Wisconsin State Trails have a carry-in/carry-out policy. Make provisions for carrying out any refuse. No trash receptacles are provided on-trail.
Madison, WI - Cross-Country Skiing,Fishing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 42.2
A surprisingly secluded trail in the midst of Milwaukee, the Oakleaf Trail has great views of Lake Michigan plus all the services and attractions a city like Milwaukee can offer.
Milwaukee, WI - Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 5.5
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Wonderful views of the broad Chippewa River and woodland scenery permeate the Old Abe Trail. Along the way you’ll visit Brunet Island State Park and the interesting city of Chippewa Falls. There is more to the Old Abe State Trail than just the trail itself. Brunet Island State Park is a gem of a park at the site of Frenchman Jean Brunet’s trading post. Miles of nature trails explore the lush island forest. It’s a great location to base your trail adventure from. A 1.2-mile paved trail link from the park to the town of Cornell and the Old Abe State Trail makes the experience seamless. There are several county road crossings. Take care not to frighten horses on the adjacent riding path. Wisconsin State Trails have a carry-in/carry-out policy. Make provisions for carrying out any refuse. No trash receptacles are provided on-trail. The Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required for bicyclists, equestrians, and in-line skaters age sixteen and older
Cornell, WI - Fishing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking - Trail Length: 18.1
You’ll pass through a block-and-a-half-long railroad tunnel and exquisite bluff country scenery along the Omaha Trail. Near Mill Bluff State Park, it connects to a 100-mile rail trail system. Surface: Seal-coated gravel with short sections of crushed gravel at each end. Crossings at some gravel roads are unpaved. An ice mound builds up in the middle of the tunnel and typically lasts into early summer. Short on-street sections connect the northern and southern trailheads. Bikers should watch for vertical barriers at trail intersections, which are easily passed but no fun if run into. An annual Juneau County trail pass fee is required for adult bicyclists. Passes can be purchased at Elroy Commons, the Hustle Stop convenience store in Hustler, the Target Bluff German Haus Restaurant in Camp Douglas, and at some other area businesses. In winter you must have a Wisconsin snowmobile registration or nonresident trail use sticker.
Elroy, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 13.9
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The Osaugie Trail features great views of the Twin Ports harbor, interesting museums and historic sites, and city services.
Superior, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 5.2
Pass through farmland and small-town Wisconsin as you follow the path of the former electric railway across the county and cross the Cedar Creek bridge in historic Cedarburg.
Ozaukee-Milwaukee County, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 29.9
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Bald eagle sightings are common throughout the year. Great river scenery and an 860-foot long trestle are highlights of the trail, along with the historic city of Menomonie, two quaint small river villages, and a ghost town
Menomonee, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 14.2
Also known as the Southwest Commuter Path, this nicely paved and heavily traveled trail clearly serves more than just recreational purposes. It follows right along the downtown corridor and just south of the University of Wisconsin. It is also a bit of a cutoff trail for bicyclists trying to reach the Military Ridge State Trail from the Capital City Trail; the Southwest Path takes 6.2 miles off the Capital City Trail’s connection from Lake Monona to the access trail to the Military Ridge Trail.
Madison, WI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 5.7
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