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Old 04-28-11, 07:31 AM   #1
carmie
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Cheese Country Trail Monroe, Wisconsin

I've volunteered to map a route for a four day cycling trip we'll be taking with some friends this summer.

I am looking for some information regarding a particular trail that runs from Monroe, WI to Mineral Point,WI: the Cheese Country Trail.

This trail is popular with snow mobilers and ATV's, so I am not sure whether the surface is suitable for road bikes.

Does anyone have experience riding this trail in the summer?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-28-11, 07:54 AM   #2
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From the website: General Information

TRI COUNTY TRAILS offers a unique multi-use trail system meandering through three counties in southwestern Wisconsin. Included are the CHEESE COUNTRY TRAIL - with 47 miles from Monroe to Mineral Point, and the PECATONICA STATE TRAIL - with 10 miles from Calamine to Belmont. For information on the additional trails available in Lafayette County, contact the Tri-County ATV Club or call 608.574.2911.

The trails are open to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-road dirt bikes, mopeds, motorcycles, horses and horse-drawn conveyances, bicycles, and hikers. Bicyclists should be aware that the trail is heavily used by ATVs, and that the trail surface is extremely rough in some areas. Mountain bikes are recommended. In addition, all users are urged to be cautious and courteous of the many trail-users traveling at different speeds along this scenic back-road view of southern Wisconsin.
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Old 04-28-11, 10:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, dannwilliams!

I read that section on the website as well.

I was hoping that someone with first hand knowledge might comment : )
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Old 04-28-11, 07:35 PM   #4
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Just a reason to get another bike. Time to get a cross bike!
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Old 04-29-11, 09:25 AM   #5
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I do have some first hand experience with this trail.

Because it is not a state trail, but a county trail, all sorts of motorized vehicles can (legally) use it.
So be prepared to be run off the trail by four-wheeled ATV's, etc. (And breathe in their exhaust.)
Also, there are/were lots of cigarette butts and empty beer cans strewn everywhere.
Parts of the trail that I experienced were heavily covered with deep, soft sand. My MTN bike tires just sunk in.

As you can probably tell, I am not a big fan of this trail. I think that there many other better trails for
bicycles that ARE NOT available to motorized vehicles.

A great resource for all trails throughout the entire country, is the rails-to-trails website. Sign up
and you can view all the maps, etc.

Yeah, the Cheese Country trail can be pretty in some parts, but not so great in many others.
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Old 04-30-11, 06:00 AM   #6
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Thanks, john-steed-uk, you've saved me a car trip out there!

I am somewhat familiar with the roads in this part of Wisconsin. I'll have
to figure out a road route from Monroe to Mineral Point for that segment of
the trip. I own a set of the cycling maps printed by the Bicycle Federation of
Wisconsin that should help. Thanks for the tip about the rails to trails website.
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Old 04-30-11, 07:02 AM   #7
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A resource you might want to use to pick roads: http://www.cyclesouthwestwisconsin.com/index.html

But, I agree with the Mr. Steed -- I would not ride the Cheese County trail. We tried walking on parts and it is not a pleasant experience. It is an ATV trail. Period.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:28 AM   #8
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Carmie, I live in Monroe which is the southern terminus of that trail. As John_steed reports, it is not good for bikes. when picking your road route be aware that Green county can be pretty hilly. Typically short steep runs up with some nice downhills depending on your route.
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Old 05-22-11, 02:02 PM   #9
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I ride the trail about four or five times a year. On our ATVs. I have seen bicycles on the trail, but you can tell they are locals maybe riding a couple of miles. On weekends it is wall to wall ATVs. I think I would find nother route.

I ride the Badger trail from Monroe to Freeport on my bicycle all the time. Great trail.
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Old 05-23-11, 07:57 AM   #10
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Yes, I will second that Badger trail is a fine trail. It also connects, I believe with the Sugar River trail, if that is meaningful.

But yes, a fine trail for bicycles.
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Old 05-23-11, 06:18 PM   #11
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The Badger and Sugar River trails are both excellent trails. I have a page on my blog with maps, mileage charts and photos of the trails.

http://bartsbiking.com/?page_id=57
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Old 07-30-12, 04:45 PM   #12
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I was thinking of doing a loop starting in Madison along the Military Ridge trail, connecting to the Cheese Country trail, and ending up on the Badger rock trail. I'd be riding either my Big Dummy, with 2" tires, or my hard-tail rigid MTB with racks. My idea was to go midweek to avoid the ATVs.

So my question to people who've actually ridden the trail is does it sounfeasiblele- or even safe? I wouldn't attempt it on a weekend, but was hoping that my mid week time frame might make it mormanageablele. Would a Big Dummy do the trick, or is something like a Pugsley needed to get through the sand?

Thanks,

Jon
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Old 08-04-12, 08:54 AM   #13
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freediver-I've not ridden the cheese cty trail, however, it sounds like a plan. You might want to consider waiting until after schools re-open which may take more atvs off of the trail. Good luck.
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