The Elroy Sparta bike trail located in the Southwest part of Wisconsin is a beautiful ride and one any cycling enthusiast should make plans to ride!
It’s the first trail of its kind in the U.S. converted into a bike trail from the old Chicago & North Western Railroad. It’s 32 miles long and passes through 3 tunnels.
We rode the trail in July of 2006 and absolutely loved the experience. We stayed at the Elroy end in the small town of Hillsboro at the Sleep Inn motel.
We were able to access the trail via an offshoot trail right across the street from the motel.
The nice thing about the ride is the different people we met along the way. We stopped at the various community areas, took a break and talked with some of the locals and some of the trail riders.
The desk clerk at the Sleep Inn recommended we visit the cheese store across the street and sample their “Chocolate Cheese.” I about gagged…chocolate cheese did not sound good AT All…
Anyhow, we stopped at this quaint little cheese store, nothing fancy to look at directly across from the motel. We all tried the chocolate cheese and I’m here to tell ya – it was Awesome – better than any Christmas fudge I’d ever had. Needless to say we all bought some to take home.
Back to the trail – we decided we’d spend two days to ride Elroy-Sparta, but only did one. The first day happened to be one of the hottest days that summer and some of us being a little out of shape, tried to ride to far in one day.
Thankfully Gary was in shape and he rode from Elroy to Hillsboro, picked up his truck and then picked up us weary, tired trail riders.
We didn’t make the whole trail, but Gary & I did make it up the first tunnel and walked through it. You’re not allowed to ride your bikes through the tunnels. Believe it or not, even with how hot it was there was ice in the tunnel!
One of the fellow Elroy Sparta Bike Trail travelers suggested to us that next time we stay up near Sparta instead of Elroy. Sparta is a bigger city and located next to bigger cities and has other amenities available – like shopping. There’s a little more to do up at the end if you decide to do something other than ride – but really now – who would want to do anything other than ride?
Don’t forget to leave your comments if you’ve ridden this trail.
Also, feel free to contact us with your favorite trail ride and a picture or two – we might just post it on our site!
BTW 3 of the 4 riders were riding Recumbents – if you haven’t ridden a recumbent bike or trike then you’re missing the experience of a lifetime – stop by Arnolds Bicycle Repair and find out why we’re NorthWest Illinois’ Leading Recumbent specialist!