Emma Carlin Trails

Palmyra, Wisconsin 53156

Emma Carlin Trails

Emma Carlin Trails Professional Review and Guide

"The Emma Carlin Trails can easily be described as the little brother to the nearby John Muir trails, a little smaller and less established, and hanging on by a shirttail in the form of a 5.5-mile-long connector trail. This small cluster is another in a series of well-marked and maintained Kettle Moraine Forest Mountain Bike Trails. In comparison with John Muir, this set is a little less traveled and the distances are a bit easier to handle for riders not yet ready for 10 miles of technical challenges and climbing.

There are three loops here: a 4-mile outer loop designated as Green, a 2.4-mile Orange Loop, and a 2-mile Red Loop. The 5.5-mile connector trail is a two-way path covering some of the most exciting terrain in all of Wisconsin, with switchbacks, rocky descents, and wide-open singletrack. In the fall, the hardwoods explode into a panorama of autumn colors, while the pines maintain their contrasting green hue. Elevation Change: The terrain is choppy and seldom level. The majority of the climbs are 20 to 30 feet, but several are in the 60+ range. Two in particular are found at the tail end of the connector to John Muir, both at insanely steep pitches. There are several on the south side of the Emma Carlin Loops."

Emma Carlin Trails Reviews

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A lot updates to the first half of the trail up to the connector this year, technical and fun. 7/31/2008 Less ridden then John Muir, this trail is a true treasure. Well maintained with lots of tight single track. Plus if you tie in part of the connecter you can make it a 10+ mile ride, and you will not see another rider.
Emma is one of my favorite trails. The variety of terrain including rock bridges, log obstacles, rock walls firming up cliffs, and yes, moderate climbs make it a short and quick love. It is perfect for after work to go and spin for 1.5 hrs. The trails have been improved since previous reviews. Add on the connector trail between Emma and John Muir and you have a serious workout. Warning, dont push the rangers. They have no sense of humor. A closed trail costs $167.80 in fines to ride.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Technical Difficulty
Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty
From April to November. Erosion is an issue and riding will be suspended after rain or snow in an effort to maintain the trails. Spring and fall are the best riding times, with cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Overgrown trails are not a real problem here, so summer is also very good.
Palmyra Chamber of Commerce 414-495-2611, Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and Wisconsin Off-Road Bike Association 608-222-5608.
Local Contacts
The trail area is shown on the USGS 7.5 minute quad for Whitewater. Maps are available at the trailhead.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018