Biking is everything this time of year – the weather is warm, but not insufferable and nature is beginning its annual renewal. So, strap on that helmet and get ready to ride! Whether you’re a die-hard cyclist or simply like to take a leisure ride-around, these 7 places to bike in our Jefferson County communities will have you feeling adventurous.
Rough, Off-Road Mountain Biking
John Muir Hiking & Biking Trails – These single-track trails in Palmyra, WI offer a rough ride perfect for mountain bikers and fat-tire bikes. With 5 loops ranging from 1.25mi to 12mi long, all skill levels are welcome. You’ll find yourself winding through the Kettle Moraine State Forest and over many hilly, rocky loops common in this glacial landscape. Feeling a little rusty? Hop on the skills course to practice a bit before hitting the trails!
Emma Carlin Trails – These single-track trails (also in Palmyra, WI) are more difficult than the John Muir trail system. There are three loops ranging from 3.5mi-8mi that are incredibly hilly but still offer you beautiful views of the glacial terrain and Kettle Moraine State Forest. Ride this system if you’re up for the challenge, and if you’re looking for an all-day excursion, bike the 6mi of connector routes to the John Muir Trails and check out a few of those loops! **Both the John Muir and Emma Carlin trails require a state trail pass. If you’re famished after your ride, pop over to Avant Cycle Cafe (opening soon!) for a rest and refuel. Stay tuned for their future guided rides!
Brewery Hill Park – Not only does this park in Whitewater, WI offer 3 ramps for skating, rollerblading, and biking, it also has a paved path perfect for that leisurely ride you’re craving. Follow the path alongside Whitewater Creek to Ray Trost Nature Preserve, hop on Fremont St. south to Starin Rd., and ride west toward County Rd. N through UW-Whitewater’s beautiful campus, or head east toward Hwy 59 through peaceful prairie land. If you turn around and head back to Brewery Hill Park, you’ll bike a solid 3mi either loop.
The Ultimate Road Biking Loop Around Whitewater – We love this one for its distance (28mi!), the fact that it’s not too challenging but does push you, and because you get to see so much of Whitewater’s beauty. With 5 stops along the way (some we mentioned earlier!), including scenic Bluff Rd. outside Whitewater, you’ll fall in love with this loop. Seeking an even greater challenge and want to add another stop? Visit Natureland for its many walking paths, view of Whitewater Lake, and cooling freshwater spring. From the Flowing Well, continue south on Clover Valley Rd. (which turns into Engel Rd. and then Brown Rd.) before taking a left on Territorial Rd. Natureland is on your left! Insider Tip: Take off your socks and shoes and dip your feet in the spring.
Glacial River Trail – This 55mi trail runs through Rock, Jefferson, and Dodge Counties. The Jefferson County segment is 15.9mi of paved off-road biking and 17mi of on-road biking. You’ll experience farms, prairie, wetland, forest, streams, and pass through a covered bridge. Along the way, visit Indian Mounds Park to see 11 Native American effigy mounds. Afterward, stop at Stagecoach Inn for dinner.
Jefferson County Parks
Jefferson Junction – At the crossing of the Glacial River and Glacial Drumlin Trails is Jefferson Junction, located off of Hwy 26 on Schreiber Road. Head west for a leisure ride on the Glacial Drumlin Trail and enjoy biking over the Rock and Craw Fish Rivers within the first 5mi. Turn around after the Craw Fish river passing and head into Jefferson for lunch at the ever popular Wedl’s Hamburger Stand and Ice Cream Parlor.
Katy Daixon Wimer is a southern Wisconsin photographer, story-teller, soul dweller, and poet dedicated to telling your story and reconnecting you to yourself. Capturing who you are and telling your story while guiding you toward a deeper connection with yourself light Katy up. That’s where the magic happens.