By David Spiegelberg
Wisconsin has been leading the charge with purpose-built mountain bike trail development in the Upper Midwest. Many of our “classic rides” have been around for more than three decades now, but more and more communities are adding new trails to our long list of trail-riding destinations.
Test your skills or simply work on having more fun at these top Wisconsin fat tire bike rides!
CAMBA Trail System – Cable and Hayward
The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association is considered to be one of Wisconsin’s classic riding destinations, with more than 300 miles of signed and mapped trails. The trail system was given “Ride Center” status by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), a designation only awarded to several dozen destinations around the world.
The Rock Lake Trail is a local favorite and is recognized by IMBA as an “Epic Ride.”
John Muir and Emma Carlin Trails – Eagle
The popular John Muir and Emma Carlin trails are flowy and fast and offer more than 30 miles of color-coded loops for riders of all abilities. The hills, kettles, moraines and other glacial geological features give this trail system a variety of terrain to experience.
A mix of hardwood, evergreen and prairie will present the rider with ever-changing landscape and scenery.
Levis Mound – Clark County
Are you looking for some elevation and dramatic scenery on your ride? If so, Levis-Trow Mound Recreation Area is your ride of choice. More than 25 miles of singletrack wind through a variety of terrain with the highlight being a 200-foot climb to the top of a sandstone bluff with amazing views of the surrounding countryside.
You can expect some intense riding with trail names like Select Cut, Dead Turkey and Pile Driver.
WinMan Trails – Vilas County
Tackle fast and flowy trails, a technical downhill, berms and bridges on this evolving system.
Nine Mile Forest – Wausau
Eleven loops of singletrack offer riding from mild to wild at this central Wisconsin classic riding destination. Some of Nine Mile Forest's signature obstacles include low berms and log piles to test your mountain biking skills. Be amazed by scenery as the singletrack snakes over the side of a steep 140 foot high ridge, enough elevation to get anyone’s heart pumping.
Silver Lake Park – Kenosha County
Some of Wisconsin’s newest singletrack can be found at Silver Lake, an easily accessible Kenosha County park. Ten miles of flowy and fun trails have been constructed in this 274-acre park.
Trails were designed for every riding ability – from a kid’s loop to fast and flowy trails like Yeti, Rudie’s Ridge and Barbwire. Get your workout on the trail and then cool down at the area’s favorite swimming beach, located on the west side of the park.
Lake Geneva Canopy Tours – Lake Geneva
Don’t mind the zip-liners as they move through the trees at this heavily forested 100-acre riding park located just north of Lake Geneva’s city limits. This trail system offers riders more than 10 miles of tight and technical trails to play on.
Riders will emerge from the forest to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside on one of Walworth County’s highest points. Climbing ladder bridges, jumps and switchbacks will allow you to perfect your technical skills at this fun riding destination.
Blue Mound State Park – Blue Mounds
Blue Mound State Park offers more than fifteen miles of challenging singletrack riding. At 1,719 feet of elevation, the top of Blue Mound is the highest point in southern Wisconsin. Plenty of rocks, roots and climbing will keep riding interesting and fun at this area favorite biking destination.
Lowes Creek Trail – Eau Claire
Lowes Creek Trail is located just outside Eau Claire offer a variety of different riding levels perfect for everyone. Lowes Creek is a trout stream that is spanned by a bridge, giving mountain bikers access to both sides of the creek.
Six miles of trail are classified as challenging and wind through forest and creek beds, reaching all corners of the park.
Nicolet Roche Trail – Langlade County
Ride over the giant boulders that dot the floor of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northeastern Wisconsin. Beyond the boulders you’ll find some steep sections with both climbs and drops as you meander through the wooded countryside on the Nicolet Roche Trail.
This trail system is located close to the National Forest Service Boulder Lake Campground – a great place for a refreshing swim after your ride.
Human Powered Trails – La Crosse
Located in the beautiful bluffs above the city of La Crosse, the Human Powered Trails offer riders some tough obstacles like log and rock piles and tight switchbacks.
The tamer intermediate trails offer plenty of hills to climb as well as great vistas overlooking the Mississippi River.
Looking for more biking? Check out these bike trails where you can explore nature on wheels.