La Crosse River State Trail

A delightful 21.5-mile ride along the La Crosse River between Sparta and La Crosse. The trail is a middle link between the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the Great River Trail. On the way it runs close to an active rail line and a wave from the train engineers is always guaranteed. In Bangor, a short spur trail takes you to a pleasant town park. West Salem has a number of historic buildings including the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hamlin Garland and the unique Palmer-Gullickson Octagon Home. In the mid-19th century, octagon houses were thought to be the ideal human habitation. The theory was promoted by a man named Orson Fowler. He also believed you could tell a person's character by the bumps on their head. Neither idea caught on as well as the bike trail.

Hours of Operation

Office Hours: May 1-Oct 31 8:30am-4:30pm daily; Nov 1-Apr 30 8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri. Trail open daily during daylight hours.


Sparta STH 16 to NE of La Crosse

State and National Trails

  • Yes


  • Yes


  • Easy

Trail Length (miles)

  • 24

Surface Type

  • Crushed Rock