Wisconsin's Top Bike-Friendly Communities

Wisconsin is one of America's top states for bike-friendly communities. Here are 10 communities throughout the state with award-winning efforts to make biking better and safer.

Appleton

Appleton is an blossoming biking community with a big vision! Their main goals as a bike-friendly city have been to promote the health benefits of biking, promote cycling for all ages, and provide monthly rides and discussions for local residents.

One highlight is Appleton's "bike trains" of commuters traveling together on a route, allowing more control over the road and better visibility for motorists. The community also hosts many bicycle events, including a New Year’s Resolution Ride and monthly Moonlight Rides.

Fitchburg

Fitchburg's six recreation trails make it ideal for commuters and bike enthusiasts. There are three state trails and three local trails in the area. The three state routes, Badger State Trail, Capital City State Trail, and Military Ridge State Trail, all require a trail pass.

For a shorter ride perfect for the family, ride the seven miles through a tunnel under highway PD/McKee Road and over the award-winning Capital City Bridge. Another option is the 9.5-mile Orchard Ride which will take you to the Eplegaarden, where you can stop and grab fresh produce before you start your ride back into town.

LaCrosse

The LaCrosse region, known as the Driftless Area, is a bicycler’s dream destination. The city provides about a dozen different routes with every level of difficulty; whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced they have a trail for you.

Each year the LaCrosse area holds a Labor Day Weekend Bicycle Festival to celebrate biking as the summer season comes to an end. It is a four-day event with a different group ride each day. There are numerous additional biking events from spring until fall.

The local biking trails take you through the Mississippi River Valley, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the bluffs and America's mightiest waterway.

Madison

Madison has topped many lists as a bike-friendly community. The city is great for commuting, with numerous paths and green biking lanes to safely ride the streets. A wide range of biking clubs suits all interests, from racing to bike polo to touring and even unicycling!

Perfect for tourists and locals alike is the Madison B-cycle rental program. The bikes can be leased and then returned to any of the numerous B-cycle locations around town. 

Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a true biking city. Not only is there commuting access and many quirky biking events, but they also have two unique trails to bike.

The first, Oak Leaf Trail, runs alongside an abandoned railroad. It starts at the lakefront and goes through rural areas along the Milwaukee River. The second, the Hank Aaron State Trail, is located in the Menomonee River Valley and will take you past historical markers, artwork and wetlands preservation, all part of a once-industrial area.

Milwaukee makes our bicycle-friendly community list because of their bike lanes and routes within the city and just outside it.

Onalaska

Onalaska links more than 101 miles of state bicycle trails including the Great River State Trail and the La Crosse River State Trail, known as two of the most beautiful cycling trails in the Midwest.

The bluffs of the Coulee Region provide some excellent Midwest mountain biking. Choose from four different loops that cater to beginners and the pros. The Onalaska community hosts multiple annual bike tours for everyone from competitive road cyclists to those who just want to have fun.

Onalaska also provides two locations where you can rent bikes—Blue Heron Bicycles and the River Trail Cycles—both located near Onalaska bike trails.

Sheboygan County

Sheboygan County’s NonMotorized (NoMo) initiative is a program designed to promote biking and walking. They have started several programs such as adopt a trail, bike or walk to work week and rebike, a program that gives away donated bikes for free. 

Sheboygan County offers numerous trails, tours and loops for bike enthusiasts. They also promote leisure rides throughout the historic neighborhoods of Sheboygan’s northeast side.

Shorewood

Shorewood is a great community for biking. It’s conveniently located between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, providing lots of beautiful scenery. Also, with its close location to downtown Milwaukee, a biker can just hop on the Oak Leaf Trail and Lake Drive to reach downtown.

Shorewood has made major investments to make better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the community, such as trails and bike-friendly lanes. The village also has conducted research on how to make safer routes and to inform community members about the benefits of biking.

Stevens Point

Stevens Point is home to the Green Circle Trail, which rides along the Plover and Wisconsin rivers with scenery so beautiful you will forget it is a 26-mile route. The Green Circle Trail also connects to more than 20 miles of additional trails, allowing a different experience each time you ride.

A high average of bike commuters has earned the city great marks for sustainability, including a bronze medal from the League of American Bicyclists.

Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay, located in beautiful Door County, has endless options for the casual bikers to the off-road adventurers. Whether you bring your own bike or rent one at the numerous adventure businesses in the area, Door County will provide you with multiple biking options.

For the off-roaders, the Ahnapee State Trail starts in Sturgeon Bay and will take you on a 30-mile adventure. If you prefer to hit the road, Door County has many towns with unique shops to bike to. One must-see bike adventure is to take Bay Shore Drive up to George Pinney County Park, where you can view the waters of Green Bay and the scenery of Potawatomi State Park.

Sturgeon Bay wants to make biking fun for everyone which is why they also took home the bronze as a bicycle-friendly community.

Try more small-town biking routes in Wisconsin, or check out the state's top mountain biking trails!

This entry was posted in Biking Trails and Hiking