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While only the diehards would be caught cycling around Wisconsin in the dead of winter, there are plenty of excellent places in Milwaukee for riding bikes when the weather is fine. Those looking for urban escapes will not be disappointed in the hundreds of miles of bike path that weave through local parks. Whether it’s cycling for fitness or as a leisure activity, Milwaukee’s bike paths and parks will help get you where you need to go.
The Oak Leaf Trail encircles Milwaukee County with 118 miles of pathway for bikers and runners. The trail is a combination of paved off-street paths, park drives, and street cycling. For those looking to spend some quality time with nature, the wooded sections of the trail along the Milwaukee river will make the hustle and bustle of the city feel miles away. On the east side, bikers will have the unique experience of riding along an abandoned railroad corridor near the river.
Those who want the full bike tour of Milwaukee should take a ride on the Hank Aaron State Trail. The route starts at Lakeshore State Park and continues for 12 miles through the Historic Third Ward and past Miller Park, ultimately linking up with the Oak Leaf Trail. This trail is the perfect mix for cyclists who want a mix of urban scenery and off-street riverfront views.
Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee is a great starting point for those planning to take on the Oak Leaf Trail. A paved section of the trail runs through the park and visitors will also be able to rent bikes here if they do not have one of their own. Alternatively, it’s a great place to end a long bike ride with its beautiful lakefront views, large grassy area to relax in, and a paddle boat and kayaking lagoon for those who didn’t get enough of a workout on the trail.
Located along the shore of Lake Michigan, Lakeshore State Park is an urban oasis of 22 acres of land in the heart of Milwaukee. A multi-purpose trail runs through the park and along the lake, offering some spectacular views. This is the ideal location for those who would like to combine their bike ride with a picnic, or as a starting point for linking to the longer Oak Leaf and Hank Aaron Trails, as both connect to this park.
For more adventurous riders, Hoyt Park has one of the best mountain biking trails. The scenic route includes 2.2 miles of track and is suitable for those who are new to mountain biking, but be aware that there are a few tricky spots along the way. It’s advisable to avoid the trail when it’s wet and don’t forget that mountain bikers ride counterclockwise if you decide to take on this trail.