|By Timothy Kennedy|
The League of American Bicyclists recently ranked Wisconsin as the third-best Bike-Friendly State for 2011. With over 108,000 miles of roads, Wisconsin has abundant on and off-road biking resources while Wisconsin's nationally acclaimed "rails to trails" biking network offers smooth riding and scenic views.
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Biking Guide
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism (www.travelwisconsin.com) has a guide (2008 - Seventh Edition pdf) of bike trails in Wisconsin. Some examples are the 32-mile Elroy-Sparta trail which winds through three century-old railroad tunnels, wooded valleys, and small towns and the paved 83.4-mile
Mountain Bay State Trail which stretches from Green Bay to Wausau winding through Amish settlements, the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation, woodlands, marshes, and farmland. In fact, there are over 1,000 miles of biking trails that criss-cross the state.
The guide is a good reference to have in order to appreciate biking in Wisconsin. This guide provides a detailed map and difficulty rating for each trail in Wisconsin, including off-road mountain bike trails, designated bike trails, and on-road loop tours. In addition, there is also information about nearby tourist attractions, trail amenities, parks, and accommodations. Many of the tour and trail descriptions also include a small graph depicting the changes in elevation over the length of the route.
The Wisconsin State Bicycle Map
The Wisconsin Bicycle Map highlights the most favorable bicycling conditions and rates all roadways. The map is split into 8 panels printed on 4 separate "maps". Each quarter section map may be purchased separately, or all four may be purchased as a set.
The maps have routes marked according to their appropriateness for cycling (level & speed of auto traffic, presence of shoulders or bike lanes, etc.). The maps also have the state trails that do not allow motorized vehicles in non-winter months. The maps were recently updated in 2010 and are ideal for long-distance touring bicyclists as well as casual recreational riders or transportation bicyclists.
Wisconsin County Bike Maps
WisDOT also has downloadable bike maps for each of Wisconsin's 72 counties. These county maps come from the Wisconsin State Bike Map. Each county map highlights the most favorable bicycling conditions while presenting the full continuum of roadways - from narrow town roads to US Highways. This approach enables cyclists of all abilities to select their own routes to meet their individual transportation and recreational needs.
Local Bicycling Information
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has compiled a list of Wisconsin local bicycle map and route information from various counties and cities. Some maps are hosted for download by DOT and only available here.
Courtesy of the Niagara Escarpment Resource
Great Arc Bike Route
The Great Arc refers to the shape of the Niagara Escarpment which extends from eastern Wisconsin through the Upper Pennisula of Michigan and southern Ontario, finally terminating in Western New York State at Niagara Falls. The Great Arc Bike Route follows the Niagara Escarpment in Northeastern Wisconsin. The bike route in Wisconsin takes riders along some of the highest escarpment cliffs in Wisconsin at approximately 250 feet above Green Bay in Door County.
City of Madison Traffic Engineering - Bike Map
The City of Madison Traffic Engineering web site offers a bike map pdf that shows the bike routes around the city.
Madison Area Bike Maps
Ridge and Valley Rides offers bike maps for the Madison area.
City of Milwaukee - Bike Map
The City of Milwaukee web site offers a bike map pdf that shows the bike routes around the city.
Interactive Bicycle Route Maps
Increasingly there are becoming options for interactively mapping a route online.
American Bike Trails Maps
Individual maps of biking trails and trail systems around the Midwest are available from American Bike Trails Distribution. Each map gives a detailed description of the trail, its history, and other points of interest as well as locates facilities and places to access the trail.
Other Bicycling Maps
A number of privately produced maps and books focus on particular bike routes and/or trail systems for tour and mountain biking. They are available at many general bookstores, as well as businesses that sell or rent bicycles. Also, check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, or the Wisconsin Off-Road Bicycling Association's (WORBA) web pages for more information.
|Last Updated on May 03, 2012|