Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 42
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Bikes
    an old Huffy 10 speed road bike
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Taking the Scenic Route from Minneapolis to Milwaukee

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Ben and I just joined bikeforums.net today. I'm hoping that someone has had experience biking around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and in Western Wisconsin because I'm hoping to make the journey from the Twin Cities back to my hometown of Milwaukee this summer. I'd rather not ride on the shoulder of state/county highways the whole time so I'm looking for tips on scenic routes or trails that will get me to Milwaukee in a decent time (I'm hoping 2 days with an overnight stay somewhere in Wisconsin). Feel free to e-mail with any advice, thanks a ton!

  2. #2
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    From north of LaCrosse you can go al most all the way to Milwaukee on rail trails. They have finished a lot more than when I did it more than 10 years ago - the Elroy Sparta was the first one. Great little towns along the way - no traffic - plenty of spots to camp.

    http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com/

    Then use the map to connect to other trails.

    Best - J

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    My Bikes
    are better than yours.
    Posts
    10,786
    Mentioned
    35 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  4. #4
    Senior Member bbwolfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you can or do find your way to Menomonie Wi. you may want to get on The Red Cedar Trail you will need to get a pass good for all state trails. This trail connects to the Chippewa river state trail and takes you into Eau Claire or you can turn off and go to Durand where the trails junction. The Red Cedar to Chippewa trail route is about 35 miles or so. I have been able to get a good cell signal pretty much all the way just in case. Now If you can figure out how to connect to La crosse ? Good Luck hope this helps! feel free to pm me if need to know more.

  5. #5
    succumbs to errata jaypee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    741
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bbwolfy
    If you can or do find your way to Menomonie Wi. you may want to get on The Red Cedar Trail you will need to get a pass good for all state trails. This trail connects to the Chippewa river state trail and takes you into Eau Claire or you can turn off and go to Durand where the trails junction.
    Unfortunately, taking the Chippewa River trail to Eau Claire would be taking you North, rather than South towards Millwaukee.

  6. #6
    Member pkgman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Suburbs NW of Chicago
    My Bikes
    Schwin Highplains (only the frame & fork are original)
    Posts
    38
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go to crazyguyonabike.com and search "Wisconsin". There is a good deal if information out there with plenty of route information. I'm planning on doing LaCrosse to Milwaukee or Chicago this summer after first doing my first ever overnight "tour" earlier in the spring to try touring. I'm sure I'll like it. No fancy gear or bike, but you don't need all that much to get started....
    Gary

  7. #7
    Prairie Path Commuter
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Forest Park, IL
    My Bikes
    Marin Palisades Trail
    Posts
    654
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The State of Wisconsin publishes or used to publish a road map style map of all bike trails and prefered bike routes on secondary roads in the state. This is a two map edition, one for the west and one for the east. I think I got mine in 1996 at the Milwaukee Bike Expo, and I think I have seen them around since them. My map says it is published by the Wisconsin Division of Tourism so you may want to do a web search of them.

  8. #8
    Prairie Path Commuter
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Forest Park, IL
    My Bikes
    Marin Palisades Trail
    Posts
    654
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Actually, now that I have read the other posts more carefully I see that Half Speed has you covered on this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode from Minneapolis to suburban Chicago in 2004, and followed State Highway 35 down to LaCrosse, then the LaCrosse river trail, the Elroy/Sparta Trail, and should have taken the 400 trail. That part of Wisconsin is very hilly, as it is part of the area where the glaciers did not smooth things out. The trails can get boring, but the alternative is painful.

    Highway 35 was actually very enjoyable. There are some elevation changes, but nothing too intense. You usually had a nice view of the river, and towns to eat in and take a break. Check out this site:

    http://www.wigreatriverroad.org/maps/maps_bike.htm

    Also, pick up maps from Milwaukee Map Service. They publish four very good regional maps, which include all the county roads for Wisconsin.

    Enjoy!

    Jay

    P.S. You'll never make it in 2 days. I took a week to Chicago (420 miles)
    Last edited by jjones; 04-09-06 at 07:29 AM. Reason: P.S.

  10. #10
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    River Falls, WI
    My Bikes
    '03 Iron Horse Intrepid, '06 Surly Long Haul Trucker, '89 GT Timberline
    Posts
    672
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    jjones, that is exactly the route I am planning, only coming from IL towards St Paul. the 400 ends in Reedsburg. I plan on going through Madison and stay at state parks along the way. Should be great!

  11. #11
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Madison, Wi
    My Bikes
    Jamis Aurora '02; Takara Medalist (650B)
    Posts
    1,472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Starting around the 18th of June, the Bike NOrth Woods tour bikenorthwoods sets off from LaCrosse to Sheboygan
    of course, it will cost you a couple hunnert bucks, but they will haul your gear and the smallish group (200+) is a great bunch of folks.

    Otherwise, working your way down from north of lacrosse on the bike trails is an awesome idea. You can move along almost to Madison on trails, then on the Glacial Drumlin from the east side of madison.

    Otherwise use some of the links. there are thousands of easy to ride, little travelled country trunks, all paved.

  12. #12
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm planning this trip as well. Here's my plan:
    ~450 mi, 5 days, light-loaded (no camping gear) touring. I have family to crash with in every town but Sparta, where i hope to get a hotel room, i guess.

    June 30: Minneapolis -> Eau Claire
    July 1: Eau Claire -> Marshland -> via trail to Sparta
    July 2: Sparta via trail -> Reedsburg -> Madison
    July 3: Madison -> Milwaukee
    July 4: Milwaukee -> Chicago

    Specific routing tips are welcomed!

  13. #13
    addicted to coffee velotimbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Queen Charlotte, British Columbia
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Gunnar Roadie, Trek Fuel EX, Fisher Twenty Niner
    Posts
    107
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to live in Menomonie, WI and rode that Red Cedar trail regularly..... I would not reccomend it for touring, its recreational in nature. Too soft for real riding....

    I would reccomend riding south on MN highway 62 or whatever that is that follows the Mississippi towards Winona. Adventure Cycling uses that route on one of their cross-country routes I think. Or they did once......

    Then cut yourself over to LaCrosse, hook up with Elroy-Sparta, and enjoy the Wisconsin countryside there. You will be able to find yourself accross Wisconsin with no trouble staying off major highways. Lots of farm roads all over with little traffic.
    gunnarroadiesurlylonghaultruckergiantcypressstgunnarruffiantrekfuel90

  14. #14
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    next question:
    I don't know the terrain very well... is it real hilly?

    I usually ride fixed. If I'm doing this route, would you all suggest fixed/singlespeed, or gears?? (i.e. how many hills and how big?)

  15. #15
    succumbs to errata jaypee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    741
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chimblysweep
    next question:
    I don't know the terrain very well... is it real hilly?

    I usually ride fixed. If I'm doing this route, would you all suggest fixed/singlespeed, or gears?? (i.e. how many hills and how big?)
    South of Menomonie/Eau Claire down to Iowa is hilly, everywhere else is pretty flat. If you're strong, you could do it.

    Hit me up when you're in the area, I'll buy you a beer.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Plymouth,WI
    My Bikes
    TREK-520 & 830
    Posts
    724
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by velotimbe
    I used to live in Menomonie, WI and rode that Red Cedar trail regularly..... I would not reccomend it for touring, its recreational in nature. Too soft for real riding....

    I would reccomend riding south on MN highway 62 or whatever that is that follows the Mississippi towards Winona. Adventure Cycling uses that route on one of their cross-country routes I think. Or they did once......

    Then cut yourself over to LaCrosse, hook up with Elroy-Sparta, and enjoy the Wisconsin countryside there. You will be able to find yourself accross Wisconsin with no trouble staying off major highways. Lots of farm roads all over with little traffic.

    62 in Minn is a good ride! You'll find hills near the Mississippi or Wisconsin rivers otherwise rolling hills which might need gears. Or as a friend from Colorado said of the hills along the Mississippi, nice roller coaster (in other words small)!

  17. #17
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    St. Paul,MN
    My Bikes
    A few.
    Posts
    8,799
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's US 61. MN 62 is the Crosstown Freeway, which I suggest avoiding.
    Rather than 61 I'd suggest that you take Wisconsin 35 on the east bank, going south from Prescott,Wi. That road is MUCH more bicycle friendly with less traffic, frequent turn-outs, wide shoulders, better visibility, and fewer cross streets/entrances.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  18. #18
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    My Bikes
    are better than yours.
    Posts
    10,786
    Mentioned
    35 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron
    It's US 61. MN 62 is the Crosstown Freeway, which I suggest avoiding.
    Rather than 61 I'd suggest that you take Wisconsin 35 on the east bank, going south from Prescott,Wi. That road is MUCH more bicycle friendly with less traffic, frequent turn-outs, wide shoulders, better visibility, and fewer cross streets/entrances.
    Plus, 35 has great colorful maps with elevation profiles. Outside of the climb near Bay City, it's mostly flat too.

    http://www.wigreatriverroad.org/maps/maps_bike.htm

    And here's what it looks like on 35:
    http://stockdell.org/biking/grrb_tour/index.html
    http://stockdell.org/biking/grrb/index.html

  19. #19
    nm+
    nm+ is offline
    Ultra-clydesdale
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sacramento, CA or St Paul, MN
    My Bikes
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520(RIP)/Trek 930
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Try following the Mississippi south to LaCrossish. I love riding that on the Wisconsin side.
    The state of WI has very good bike maps which have been linked to above. They're why i nearly always ride in WI rather than MN
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  20. #20
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok, time for some more specific routing questions...
    how do you get from Minneapolis to the I-94 bridge? It says there's a bike lane on the bridge... I'd like to go through Hudson and pick up N Eastbound to Eau Claire. (Gotta visit my grandma in E.C.)

  21. #21
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    also, any tips for approaching Milwaukee from the West? i was going to take the glacier drumlin trail...

  22. #22
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    River Falls, WI
    My Bikes
    '03 Iron Horse Intrepid, '06 Surly Long Haul Trucker, '89 GT Timberline
    Posts
    672
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chimblysweep
    ok, time for some more specific routing questions...
    how do you get from Minneapolis to the I-94 bridge? It says there's a bike lane on the bridge... I'd like to go through Hudson and pick up N Eastbound to Eau Claire. (Gotta visit my grandma in E.C.)
    There is a bike lane across the bridge. There are roads marked as bike routes on the MN side. I have ridden into Woodbury on them from WI. I believe MN has bike maps on their DOT website, also. Or else they mail 'em to you.

    I am leaving from River Falls tomorrow, June 16. I will be following WI 35 until I hit the bike trails in Trempaleau county. 100 miles when ridden from the beginning there to the end at Reedsberg. I then used mapquest and had a route that avoided highways from Reedsberg to Illinois with my stops at state parks thrown in. I then emailed them to me and printed out, custom cue sheets!
    Good pedalling to you and have a great trip.
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

  23. #23
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    aha! thanks. i ordered the Wisconsin Bicycle Maps, which will get me through the state, but i first have to get to wisconsin!

  24. #24
    No one carries the DogBoy
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm going to give you a bunch of unsolicited route advice.

    If I were to do this ride I'd use the elory-sparta trial system all the way to reedsberg.
    From here I'd take roads down to Cottage Grove, and I'd skip Madison (traffic) unless you specifically want to include it. I'd go through Baraboo, then to Devils Lake state park, then take the Merrimac ferry, through Lodi, Dane, Deforest and then south through Sun Prairie to Cottage Grove.

    If you get to the Glacial Drumlin Trail (GDT) and want to get off the crushed limestone you can take roads that are fairly light traffic and pretty flat:

    take county road BB out of Cottage Grove
    Becomes B
    When you Get to Cnty Road F (After Johnson Creek) go straight onto Concord Center Dr.
    Follow this until it dead ends, then go right on Cnty road DR (aka Delafield rd)
    Then take a right onto Golden lake Rd
    left at Gennesy lake rd
    right at Cnty Z (AKA Dousman Rd)
    Follow the fork to the left and go left on US 18 for about .1 miles (there is a shoulder)
    Turn Right on Main street and follow it until you get to the GDT. Its paved from here to Waukesha.

    I've ridden both the GDT and the route above many times and find that the road route is about an hour faster, but not that scenic.

    I don't have any real advice for getting from Waukesha into Milwaukee other than to say the New Berlin Trail sucks. It's gravel and feels more like a power line access road. Getting to Greenfield park isn't bad, but my destination is always West Allis so you are on your own from there.

    The GDT ends at the intersection of College and Praire ave. Make your way through Waukesha (I use College Ave to E Racine to S. Porter Ave to E. Broadway but there are places where college doesn't feel that comfortable) until you get to E Broadway. Follow this until it becomes Cleavleand Ave and then go N on 124th and you will be at Greenfield Park. You can do the Oak leaf trail or use a route you already know from there.

    Have a good trip and sorry for all the detail.

  25. #25
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    seattle
    My Bikes
    several. blue. fun.
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    no, thank you! detail is what i need. i didn't even know the GDT was gravel... I'm on 700x23's and can't really swing it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •