Great Lakes - Oak Leaf Trail
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05-09-11, 06:41 PM
Hi All, Mid June I plan on visiting Milwaukee for a few days. I was wondering if the Oak Leaf Trail is worth looking forward to and if there are places to stay away from. I realize the whole trail is about 100 mi. My main area of travel will be around the eastern end. Thanks in advance..:D
05-10-11, 09:48 AM
We visit Milwaukee every couple of years. In 2009 I did a 64 mile circle ride on a Saturday in early August using the Oak Leaf Trail on the eastside starting in Whitefish Bay and going down to South Milwaukee. Then over Drexel to Franklin where I got back on the trail on the westside up to Wauwatosa where I took city streets over the northern stretch to River Hills where I got back on the Oak Leaf back down to Whitefish Bay. I really enjoyed the eastside bit, but found the trail markings difficult to follow in parts of the westside and there is no trail connection between east and west at the north and south ends. I didn't run into any problem areas on my ride, but hopefully someone local can give you better guidance.
Another good trail to ride there is the Ozaukee Interurban Trail heading north from Brown Deer Rd and going up to Port Washington (and beyond, but it's more boring up there). I did another 64 miles out and back on that the next day (Sunday).
I would add that the Oak Leaf trail is probably not a destination ride, its nice if you live here to use as an urban recreation trail, with some very nice parkways to go through. I use it for commuting (occasionaly) as it sends you down less busy streets and dedicated paths. If you are coming here anyway, yeah through in the bike and enjoy.
The Oak leaf, as mentioned, is more a local path than a destination. That's not to say there isn't some good riding on it and many stretches are lightly used. The eastern portion is probably the most used as it's near downtown and the colleges. As you go around the city parts of it are on city streets and parkway roads. It will also connect you with the New Berlin Trail and ultiamtely the Glacial Drumlin trail. It does not quite connect to the Interurban yet but comes within a mile or 2. Here are some maps that are usually available in the bike shops or contact Dave on the page and he could probably mail one out.
05-24-11, 09:54 AM
I just toured across WI last week and tried to use part of the Oak Leaf Trail through Milwaukee. In places it was nice enough, but I found it very frustrating to follow it, or any other trail in Milwaukee. Constant breaks and changes made it a bad choice for us. It uses roads or sidewalks in many places and is not always well marked. If I knew it well, or had excellent documentation, it might work better. Clearly many locals like it. I had the same problem with the touted HAST. I just gave up and made my own route on streets. YMMV.
05-27-11, 04:49 PM
Agreed. It's a great resource for us locals. Where in Milwaukee will you be staying. You might also Google up the Ozaukee County trail, New Berlin trail, and the Glacial Drumlin trail.
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