Long bike rides are always a joy since they let you get out into nature and view beautiful scenery while exercising. In Wisconsin, there are ample trails for both beginners and more adept bikers. If you enjoy long bike rides, then you are in luck. In this article, you will learn about the longest bike trail in Wisconsin and what to expect when traveling it.
The Longest Biking Trail in Wisconsin: Mountain-Bay Trail
In Wisconsin, the longest biking trail is the Mountain-Bay State Trail, which has a length of 83 miles. This trail passes through the Brown, Shawano, and Marathon counties in Wisconsin. This trail gets its name from the starting and ending geological points, which are Greenbay, and Rib Mountain.
Any biker over 16 planning on biking, skiing, horseback riding, or skating the trail must have a Wisconsin State trail pass. Hiking does not require the pass. The price is $25 for the yearly pass, or $5 for the day. The funds for the pass help maintain the trail and fix issues that may occur, like erosion, debris removal, and maintenance.
Navigating the Mountain-Bay Trail
Open from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Mountain-Bay Trail can be accessed year-round. This trail connects Weston, Wisconsin, to Howard and travels east. Gravel makes up a majority of the path, which may give a bumpy ride, which is why tires at least 25 mm thick are recommended. While this trail is dog friendly, it may be difficult to use a side trailer or other similar bike attachment.
At the beginning of the trail, when starting in Weston, you will bike 11 miles southeast until it connects to the Ice Age Trail in Hatley. Go for another few miles until you reach Eland. After that, you will go north for 4 miles, connecting to the Wiouwash State Trail until you continue again on the Mountain-Bay Trail.
Near Shawano City, there is a short gap in the path, and local roads are used to connect the trails. Stretching for 83 miles, the Mountain-Bay Trail takes you through several habitats and sceneries to enjoy.
One thing to look out for when on the trail is natural debris. While not common, on some occasions, trees may fall and block off needed roads.
How Long Does it Take to Bike the Mountain-Bay Trail?
Luckily, biking can be done at your own pace, but an experienced biker should be able to ride the entire trail in a day. Riding the entire trail should take around four to seven hours. This trail is mostly flat, but there are a few sections with slight hills that may be fatiguing.
If you do not want to commit to the whole Mountain-Bay Trail, you can do sections, as there are multiple starting points throughout the trail. This trail is not the hardest, but it is a fun challenge for those able to ride a few hours at a stretch!
History of the Mountain-Bay Trail
The trail was first created in 1966, and it is the longest rail trail in the state. The railway this trail follows was operated by the Chicago and North Western Transportation company and was officially abandoned in 1982. The railways of this company ran across Wisconsin and were the cause for many railroad towns that began appearing near the area.
The railway this trail follows went west of Green Bay and much further to Marshfield, Wisconsin. Maintenance of the railway was too expensive to maintain, and its closure is what led to the creation of the Mountain-Bay Trail.
Wildlife on the Longest Biking Trail in Wisconsin
The Mountain-Bay Trail not only goes through some cities but passes through woodlands, farms, and open plain habitats. Fortunately, there are plenty of sights to see, such as the village of Bowler, which is about 22 miles into the trail. This village has a stream, restrooms, and a picnic area.
As you ride through the trail, you will pass through multiple forested areas. Wildlife like deer, owls, raccoons, and maybe a black bear are some animals you may see. When riding through the trail, you will also pass many parks, so you can rest or use the bathroom.
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