Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Best Laid Plans: The Bike Trail List

More than 50 rail trails throughout the state! That's the subtitle of "Best Rail Trails Wisconsin" by Phil Van Valkenberg. Hmmm. It seems my list has grown. It has been problematic to determine just which trails are what I consider "touring trails" and which are not much better than muddy, rutted ATV highways. This book has so far been the best source of information for me! Better than the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which does not offer a map for each trail that is listed on their site. I have so far depended on a patchwork of sites to find what I need, but now I think I have it all in one book. It is very complete. Thank you, Phil. Order this book from Amazon, or through the Trails From Rails site (you will end up using Amazon anyway). Do visit the Trails From Rails website though, it is very informational, and not just for Wisconsin.  
1. Ahnapee State Trail (Door County)
2. Badger State Trail (Madison to Illinois state border)
3. Bearskin State Trail (Minocqua to south of Harshaw) I will be biking it this weekend!
4. Bugline Trail (Menomonee Falls to Merton)
5. Capital City Trail (Madison)
 6. Chippewa River State Trail (Eau Claire to the Red Cedar State Trail) Been there done that!
7. Elroy-Sparta State Trail (Elroy to Sparta, duh) No post yet, but been there done 1/2 that!
8. The "400" State Trail (Reedsburg to Elroy)

9. Gandy Dancer Trail (St. Croix Falls to Danbury) No post yet, have done 1.3 of trail.
10. Glacial Drumlin State Trail (Waukesha to Cottage Grove)
11. Glacial River Trail (Fort Atkinson)
12.Great River State Trail (Medary to Marshland)
13.La Crosse River State Trail (Sparta to Medary)
14. Military Ridge State Trail (Madison to Dodgeville)
15. Oakleaf Trail (Milwaukee)
16. Old Abe State Trail (Cornell to Chippewa Falls) No post yet, been there done that!
17. Omaha Trail (Elroy to Camp Douglas)
18. Osaugie Trail (Superior)
19. Ozaukee Interurban Trail (Ozaukee to Sheboygan)
20. Red Cedar State Trail (Menomonie to Chippewa River State Trail) Been there done that!
21. Southwest Path (Madison)
22.Stower 7 Lakes State Trail (New Richmond to almost Drummond) No post yet, been there done that!
23. Sugar River State Trail (New Glarus to Brodhead)
24. Tomorrow River State Trail (Plover to Scandinavia)
25.Wild Goose State Trail (Fond du Lac to Clyman Junction)

You will notice that in the trail names, some have "state" listed, and some do not. I am guessing that is because some are actually funded by the state, whereas others are funded by a county or city. That does "contaminate" my project goal somewhat, since I said I was riding all the state trails. Well, some state trails may be only good for ATVs, and I dislike ATVs. (Sorry, ATVers, but you are noisy.) This just means that there are more trails for me to ride; the list just got longer.

Van Valkenberg goes on to list 35 more rail trails that don't qualify for his "top status" trail list. They would be "upgraded if more segments are completed, they become safer to use, or if they are connected to other trails".  He diplomatically describes them as "a little more of an adventure than others". I may very well bike some/all of these, but the others are first on my list. As you can see, I have most of the project before me! I would also like to mention that the Stower 7 Lakes Trail was not listed in his book, because it was not completed at the time of publication. I rode it on the opening day.

Side note: Tomorrow River, pretty name. Sheboygan, hee hee. Makes me laugh.

Those are the facts, Jack. More to come.
Mantra: Keep on pedaling and no bears.

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