Around the Ice Age Trail

Whitewater, WI is nestled within rolling country roads, acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, pine woods, and hardwood forests making it a hotspot for biking–both on-road and off-road on the various trails in and surrounding the Ice Age Trail and Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit.

As the weather starts to warm up, more and more cyclists are hopping on their bikes and heading out on the open road (while others wait for the forest trails to dry up a bit from April’s excessive snow and rain). Whether you’re someone who prefers to sweat and get a good workout or one who enjoys a leisurely afternoon ride, Whitewater offers both experiences in spades.

One of our most popular bike loops is roughly 28-30mi of road cycling that takes you past Cravath Lake out toward beautiful countryside where you can pause for a rest at the loved artesian flowing well.

Then continue your way through the gorgeous Kettle Moraine State Park. We recommend taking a breather at the peaceful, oak-filled Dr. O.R. Rice Picnic Area peninsula between Rice and Whitewater Lakes.

Once you leave the respite of the forest, you’ll head back into countryside again that leads you to the ever-popular LaGrange General Store and Backyard Bikes where you can grab a quick bite from their deli.

Now that you’re refueled and back on your bike, you’ll find yourself journeying through the Kettle Moraine forest once more until you reach Bluff Rd and begin heading back into Whitewater. Avid road cyclists, Nicole and Tom, shared their favorite part about that area of the loop:

“I’d say the best thing about Bluff Rd is riding next to the Emma Carlin and John Muir park systems. The parks have mountain biking and hiking trails that roll in and out of pine forests and farmland along the awesome road biking routes.” — Tom


“I love Bluff Rd. because the moraines create challenging hills that are super rewarding to get to the other side. Also, it has a lot of curves that really accentuate the woods!” — Nicole

As you near the city and assess your energy, take Main St. back to Cravath Lake if you feel like your ride is complete, or head north on 59 toward U where you can complete your ride through the University of Whitewater’s Nature Preserve filled with beautiful forest and prairie grasses.

And that’s a wrap! This loop will provide you not only with a plethora of stunning scenic views, but also with a max elevation of roughly 1025ft, so despite being on-road, you’ll hit plenty of challenging climbs.

The beauty of this area is that traffic is relatively low, aside from HWY 12, so you’re free to roam and explore at your leisure leaving room for you to discover new routes and even some new challenges.

Happy biking! Hope to see you out on the road!

Whitewater's Road Bike Loop

Jennifer Erdman is a Freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer. She works with the Jefferson County Tourism Council on their annual Official Guide.