Best Rail Trails Wisconsin
by Phil Van Valkenberg (Falcon Guides)
© Phil Van Valkenberg/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
We biked this from downtown Menomonee to the confluence of the Red Cedar and Chippewa Rivers (14 miles for a 28 mile out and back). We did this on our cyclocross bikes with 38C tires and found that to be the perfect equipment for this crushed gravel/hard packed dirt trail.
This trail is heavily wooded, so cool and out of the wind. Largely flat with continuous views of the Red Cedar river the entire way. There are places to stop to rest but there are really no amenities after you leave town except for a single wide spot in the road about 7 miles from the confluence. There you can find a restaurant and a general store that serves ice cream. Other than that, it's pretty much wild park along the river to make sure to bring adequate water and food/energy bars.
At the Chippewa River there is a sand bar that works great for a beach. You could bring a bathing suit and cool off or have a picnic before returning. Classic Wisconsin river sand bar with drift wood and clean sand.
This ride is best done with wider tires. A road bike is doable but would be tricky and uncomfortable. Best ridden with a bike with tires wider than 28C but is certainly passable by a road biker with good bike handling skills.
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