Wisconsin bike trails are legendary, as is the state’s reputation for quality dairy products. Here are a half-dozen of our best bike trails coupled with cheese shops and dairy bars sure to please your pedalin’ palette.
This is dairy country. A scenic 24-mile limestone-surfaced trail follows the Sugar River through Green County’s lush Holstein-dotted pastures. Near the southern trailhead at Brodhead, you’ll roll over a romantic, reconstructed covered bridge. At the northern trailhead, you’ll discover the European charm of New Glarus, America’s “Little Switzerland.”
This quaint chalet features more than 70 varieties of Green County cheeses. Be sure to try the Braun Swiss Käse cheddar and brick.
This 17-mile paved multi-use trail follows the route of an old pioneer road from Sheboygan to Greenbush. The trail is seldom flat, but it’s an enjoyable ride through rolling farm that skirts the north side of Plymouth and ends near the Wade House, an 1850’s stagecoach inn operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Gibbsville Cheese has been providing East Central Wisconsin with delicious cheese for over 65 years. There selections include, fine cheddar, colby, montery jack and much more. Stop in and purchase factory-fresh cheese and even catch a glimpse at how Gibbsville cheese is made.
The 400 gets its name from the train that once followed this path. At the time, it was the fastest way to get from Chicago to the Twin Cities. Today, 22 miles of crushed limestone trail runs from Reedsburg to Elroy, crossing the Baraboo River 11 times as it rolls through pine forests, wetlands, sandstone bluffs, rolling pastures and picturesque small towns.
Sid Cook, a fourth-generation Master Cheesemaker, produces cheddar and artisan specialties the old-fashioned way. This traditional cheese plant has won more than fifty national and international awards in the past two years. Call ahead for tours.
From rolling farm fields and orchards to the rocky shore of Lake Michigan, the views from this 30-mile trail are as varied and dramatic. Travel this newly resurfaced railbed trail along Wisconsin’s “thumb” through the scenic small towns of Casco, Forestville and Maplewood, and the shoreline towns of Algoma and Sturgeon Bay.
If Sturgeon Bay is your starting point, consider hopping in the car before or after your bike ride for a short drive to Schopf’s, 15 miles north of town. You can enjoy a free tour of a working dairy farm, and purchase fresh homemade ice cream flavored with Door County cherries, apples and blueberries.
Enjoy a pleasant roll through Wisconsin’s Northwoods on this 18-mile packed gravel rail-trail. You’ll see hardwood forest, marshland, springs, trout streams and plenty of wildlife while crossing numerous trestles and boardwalks.
Part of Minocqua’s Boardwalk Shops, the Cheese Board is a great stop with 75 varieties of Wisconsin cheese, as well as meats, candies, snacks, mustards and other specialty foods.
Starting in Menomonie, this 15-mile trail passes through Irvington and Downsville before crossing the broad Chippewa River on an impressive stressed-iron bridge. Once across, the Red Cedar joins the Chippewa River State Trail for another 30 miles of rail-trail fun. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles and other wildlife.
Reward yourself after a day on the trails with refreshing, delicious ice cream made from all-natural ingredients—including real Wisconsin cream.