What does Madison, Wisconsin, have in frequent with Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Montreal? They’re amongst the “Finest Locations on Earth to Bike,” in response to Yahoo Journey. With temperate summer time climate, over 200 miles of motorbike paths, 5 lakes, and essentially the most parks per capita within the US, it’s simple to see why Madison obtained a Platinum designation by the League of American Bicyclists and ranks as one of many 5 greatest US cities for biking.
We labored with native officers and bike activists to construct our information to biking in Madison, Wisconsin, and have personally ridden nearly all of the paths and routes highlighted on this article. Whether or not you’re a neighborhood trying to discover new locations to trip or a trip bike owner in search of a vacation spot with world-class meals and distinctive experiences, this information is for you!
Madison By Bike
Madison By Bike is a Vacation spot Madison initiative to get individuals out using and exploring town. They’ve created 4 function rides (with 4 distinctive vibes) that showcase the most effective of Madison. An app-like web page permits you to accumulate unique reductions and earn prizes as you journey their curated routes.
We made some extent to trip each route and make all of the check-ins, and it was a great deal of enjoyable. The reductions on the taking part eating places have been legit, and we noticed issues we by no means would have seen with out the check-in sport (you may even use your gathered factors to donate to Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison or enter to win an e-bike for your self!). Should you’re new to city, it’s important to test it out, and we wager even a veteran rider could study a factor or two from Madison By Bike.
Capital Metropolis Path (4.8 miles One-Approach)
The Capital Metropolis Path is mainly the Cap Metropolis Path from Turville Bay to Starkweather Brewing Firm – aka Lakeshore Views to Brews. Take into account parking at Olin Park and staying on the Cap Metropolis Path to Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
Southwest Commuter Path (3 miles One-Approach)
The Southwest Commuter Path follows a path by the identical identify. The bodily path is on an previous railbed designed to be remoted from the neighborhood with a collection of underpasses.
Lakeshore Path (2 miles One-Approach)
The Lakeshore Path route follows the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path from the Memorial Union Terrace to Picnic Level by way of the College of Wisconsin campus. This route is just partially paved with a hard-pack floor appropriate for many bikes, however it might get muddy in inclement climate. You possibly can’t bike to Picnic Level, however there’s a motorcycle rack and BCycle station proper out entrance. Additionally, you may take into account using an inside route again on bike lanes of Observatory Drive to type a loop and verify in at Allen Centennial Backyard and the effigy mounds.
Fitchburg – Cannonball Loop (10.1 miles – Loop)
The Fitchburg-Cannonball Loop may be essentially the most full trip of the Madison By Bike portfolio. You entry through Fitchburg, a near-city path city on the Capital Metropolis Path, and type a loop through the Cannonball Path Path and McCaffy/Arboretum Drive. Loop rides have a sure je ne sais quoi in comparison with out-and-backs, particularly when the neighborhood connecting roads are sluggish and mellow.
Loop Rides in Madison
Native People referred to as Madison Teejop which is how the Hoocąk individuals discuss with the land. Its translated that means is, “land of the 4 lakes” (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa). Madison’s metropolis middle is constructed on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. All this water supplies stunning views and motivates metropolis planners to cut back automobile site visitors and parking strain. It additionally permits bike paths to naturally type bike loops as an alternative of the hub and spoke design that develops in most river-based cities.
Monona Bay Loop (7.2 mi)
The Monona Bay Loop is a brief trip that connects the MBB Southwest Commuter Path with the Capital Metropolis Path. There’s a pure connection on the north finish by way of Brittingham Park and an almost full connection on the south finish through the gorgeous Wingara Creek Path. The neighborhood hole is thru the Monroe Avenue district, which may be very bike-friendly.
Lake Wingra Loop (11.1 mi)
Everyone talks in regards to the Monona Lake Loop, however there’s a Lake Wingra Loop, too. Very like its extra well-known cousin, there’s some debate about maximizing your time on a path versus staying as shut as potential to the lake. There’s a superb argument for going during the arboretum and discovering a neighborhood connection on the west facet. Nonetheless, we tossed a coin and mapped our trip by way of the Cannonball Path to the junction at Velo UnderRound.
Lake Monona Bike Loop (12.4 miles)
The Lake Monona Bike Loop is a traditional Madison bike trip. It follows the Capital Metropolis Path on the west facet of the lake and a signed on-road route by way of town of Monona. For some cause, there’s nonetheless debate about “the route.” There are three decisions by way of Atwood – the “official” signed route alongside the lake, Atwood Ave (meh), or staying on Capital Metropolis Trial to Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
Capital Metropolis Loop (19.4 miles)
The Capital Metropolis Loop is shaped by connecting the southern half of the Capital Metropolis Path with the Cannonball Path and Southwest Commuter Path. A superb loop closure by way of Brittingham Park would make this trip totally on-trail. Nonetheless, we selected to route by way of some on-road connectors to showcase a approach to hyperlink the college to downtown and the Southwest Commuter Path.
Decrease Yahara River Path (9 bonus miles)
Out of doors Journal decided that the right bike trip is 20 miles, which implies that the Lake Monona Bicycle Loop is just a bit too brief. Maybe that’s why many riders tack on an additional 9 miles by using the Decrease Yahara River Path for a pit cease on the Inexperienced Lantern Restaurant. After all, the gorgeous mile lengthy boardwalk alongside Lake Waubesa isn’t dangerous both.
Featured Madison Bike Paths
With so many Madison bike paths, figuring out the place to start out using might be troublesome. The Metropolis of Madison’s Bike Madison web page has a whole lot of info, maybe an excessive amount of. We’ll break it down for you. Right here’s the thin.
Glacial Drumlin State Path (52.8 miles, unpaved)
The Glacial Drumlin State Path runs between Wisconsin’s two largest city areas, Madison and Milwaukee. It follows an deserted rail hall for 52 miles by way of farmlands and glacial topography and connects ten small cities from Cottage Grove to Waukesha. It has a crushed stone floor appropriate for 32mm tires or wider, aside from a brief, 1.5-mile, on-road part northeast of Jefferson.
There’s a direct connection on the east finish of the path into the Milwaukee bike system, however there’s a spot between Cottage Grove and the Madison bike system on the Cottage Grove terminus. A well-liked Madison bike trip is to start out at Cottage Grove and bike 16 miles to Sandy Seashore and again (32-mile spherical journey).
Sugar River State Path (22 miles, crushed stone)
The Sugar River State Path is a 24-mile crushed gravel path following an deserted railroad line from New Glarus to Brodhead. The path has 14 trestle bridges because it crosses the Sugar River and its tributaries.
The Sugar River Path is roughly 20 miles south of Madison on the Badger Path, in order that’s a beefy trip for informal cyclists. Many individuals shuttle their bikes down for an out-and-back on the Sugar River Path or make the most of the Badger Path to type an 11-mile loop from New Glarus.
Badger State Path (40 miles, 6 miles paved)
The Badger State Path stretches 40 miles from Madison and the Wisconsin-Illinois border, the place it turns into the 17-mile Jane Addams Path. That’s 57 miles, presumably extra should you enterprise onto the Sugar River State Path. The path is paved for the primary 6 miles till you attain Purcell Rd. From there, it’s a crushed gravel path. Additionally, as of 2023, the path is closed on the Steward Tunnel, with a state-provided Tunnel Highway detour proven.
A wonderful Badger State Path trip is an out-and-back to New Glarus Brewing Firm. You should definitely cease in for a tour and maybe a pint of their only-sold-in-Wisconsin Noticed Cow Ale. That’s a 43-mile out-and-back from the Velo UnderRound.
Navy Ridge State Path (42.1 miles, 3.6 miles paved)
Navy Ridge State Path travels from Madison to Dodgeville through an 1855 navy route, together with stops at Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks. The path is paved for the primary 3.6 miles till the Badger Prairie Group Backyard in Verona. From there, it’s a crushed stone path appropriate for 32mm tires that passes by way of agricultural lands, woods, wetlands, and prairies, in addition to the path cities of Verona and Mt Horeb.
A traditional trip is a lunch run to Riley Tavern, which is a 21-mile out-and-back from The Velo UnderRound. Ardent riders may need to problem the climb in Blue Mound State Park on the biggest hill within the southern half of the state. The phase from the guardhouse to the highest has a mean grade of 10% with a most of over 20% (yikes!).
Capital Metropolis Path (17 miles, paved)
The Capital Metropolis Path is the final, however definitely not least, of the featured Madison bike paths. It’s the one 100% paved function path and connects the Navy Ridge State Path, Badger State Path, and, ultimately, the Glacial Drumlin State Path.
Madison BCycle is an superior app-driven e-bike change you unlock along with your cellphone. Greater than 500 bikes can be found throughout greater than 80 stations in Madison and Fitchburg. BCycles are nice should you’re visiting from out of city and need to plan a biking weekend in Madison or for locals trying to get again into biking.
Subscription charges are low sufficient that you just may simply need to subscribe and let the BCycle crew maintain your upkeep. Vacation spot Madison has a The best way to BCycle web page that claims, “In 2022, riders took 327,845 journeys on BCycle e-bikes, which offset greater than 869,749 kilos of carbon emissions. That’s the equal of 1,351,091 miles pushed by a mean gas-powered automobile or 106 houses’ electrical energy use for one 12 months!”
Bicycle Advantages is a motorcycle advocacy program with a easy, three-step plan to get individuals out using:
1) Get a sticker ($5 at any taking part companies)
2) Put it in your helmet (you must at all times put on a helmet whereas biking)
3) Bike and save (two of my favourite issues)
With a metropolis as bike loopy as Madison, you’d think about there can be many taking part companies. You’d be appropriate. The Bike Advantages has over 37 pages of taking part corporations.
Parting Ideas on Madison Bike Paths
With an abundance of parks and bike paths, it’s no shock that Madison is without doubt one of the nation’s fittest cities. The 2022 American Health Index lists Madison because the second fittest metropolis within the nation, which isn’t dangerous for a state recognized for cheese and beer!
Learn Extra From Coleman Concierge:
Right here’s a scorching take – the Madison, Wisconsin restaurant scene goes approach past cheese curds. Let’s begin with the farm-to-table potentialities whenever you’re in the midst of the heartland with the nation’s largest producer-only Farmers Market. Throw in some worldwide aptitude from being one of many ten most educated cities within the US and its proximity to Chicago (America’s third largest metropolis). And end it off with a superb beer and a few cheese curds, as a result of – On, Wisconsin!
Final Information to Biking the Monon Path (Plus Interactive Map)
Biking the Monon Path takes you 27 miles by way of tree-lined paths that join Westfield, Carmel, and Broad Ripple to downtown Indianapolis Indiana. Every cease has a novel persona that welcomes vacationers, with segments containing miles of gorgeous using and photo-worthy viewpoints. Learn on to find the highlights of the Monon Path.
The Finest Biking in Columbus Ohio – 11 Trails You Have to Know
The place is the most effective biking in Columbus, Ohio? With over 100 miles of devoted bike trails, Columbus is staking its declare as one of many high biking locations within the Midwest. It isn’t solely the greenways however the integration of your entire system with public transportation, native eating places, occasions, and points of interest that makes biking in C-Bus excellent. So clip in, and let’s discover the most effective biking in Columbus.
Concierge Information to Northeast Florida Bike Trails and Biking Routes
Northeast Florida bike trails might be the nation’s best-kept biking secret. This Concierge Information will provide you with the down-and-dirty particulars and inspirational insights to get you packing up your bikes and heading to the sunshine state.