Milwaukee is known as one of the scenic areas in the United States – but it’s also fast building a reputation as one of the best places to take to the saddle and enjoy some of the best biking trails in the land.
So if ever you want to enjoy some biking bliss what are the best trails that Milwaukee has to offer?
If you are on off-street trails then the Oak Leaf Trail has a lot to offer. It’s by no means short at 117 miles, but the scenery and the varied nature of the landscape will make those miles zoom past. It begins at the Milwaukee Art Museum and then heads out towards the lake and then inland to some gorgeous woodlands along the Milwaukee River corridor.
Good planning would allow the biker to plan a pit stop at the scenic Hubbard Park Beer Garden. If you’re lucky enough to have the time off on a weekday – Monday offers half-price beer, but you have to bring your own beer stein.
Another extremely picturesque trail is the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. This trail meanders across a route that follows an old electric railway track. It offers a glimpse of rural scenes and small-time life that is still part of the fabric of Milwaukee. In addition, the trail also offers some extremely attractive views over the countryside due to the numerous bridge crossings that bikers will enjoy on the trail.
As is usual for trails around this region a well-planned trip can throw up some unexpected surprises. This trail almost makes it obligatory to stop at the Stilt House in Cedarburg. Some fantastic simple food to recharge the batteries for the ride ahead and some incredible craft beer. There’s also a great wine menu – but overindulgence may be a mistake. It may not be the longest of trails – but 30 miles is still a fair distance on a bike.
When it comes to trails that are definitely family friendly the Hank Aaron State Trail is up there with the best. It’s only 14 miles so everyone from the youngest members of the family to the oldest should feel relatively comfortable tackling it. The trail starts off at the lakefront and meanders through Lakeshore State Park and its neighboring parks. It also goes past the Harley Davidson museum – and that might be a place to go and investigate the history of one of America’s great paved road icons. It then veers off road for a short distance.
Again, planning is everything. Even though it’s a short trail a stop at the Twisted Fisherman is a fantastic idea. Put your feet in the sand next to the river and enjoy simple fare, as well as an ice cold beer and something softer for the kids.
For something even easier on the legs and nerves if there are kids involved the New Berlin Recreation Trail is absolutely ideal. At only 7 miles long it’s perfect for the very young members of the family who might get bored on the longer trails. The only thing to watch out for is that trees only offer shade for some part of this mostly rural trail. It can get extremely hot – so make sure that you bring the equipment to stay hydrated – and of course wear your cycling helmet – which you should be doing anyway.
Milwaukee offers a myriad of wonderful cycling trails which are suitable for families and the more hardcore on and off-road cyclist. It really does have something for everyone.