Elroy-Sparta State Trail
It is one of four connecting bike trails in west-central Wisconsin that spans approximately one-third of the state. The trail is known for its rural scenery and three tunnels. It is part of the larger Wisconsin bike trail system, operated by the state of Wisconsin.
The four connecting west central Wisconsin trails, known as the Bike 4 Trails, going from southeast to northwest are:
- the 400 Trail (22 mi or 35 km)
- the Elroy-Sparta Trail (32 mi or 51 km)
- the La Crosse River Trail (22 mi or 35 km)
- the Great River Trail (25 mi or 40 km)
There is a $4.00 per day fee for use of the trail if one does not have the $20.00 yearly Wisconsin bike trail pass. Bike lights are advisable even on the brightest summer days when going into the long unlit tunnels. Camping, lodging, food, parking, bike rentals and information are available at many points along the trail.
The trail is constructed upon the abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway railroad bed and passes through three rock tunnels. The Kendall and Wilton tunnels (closest to Elroy) are 0.25 miles (400 m) each and the Norwalk tunnel (closest to Sparta) is 0.75 miles (1.21 km). The trail is not paved but is smooth and covered with packed crushed limestone.
Elroy is at an elevation of 972 feet, Sparta is at an elevation of 800 feet. The trail has a mostly moderate downhill slope (grade) from Elroy to Sparta. The slope (grade) is no more than 3%.
The Elroy-Sparta Bike trail is one of the many rail trails, or converted railway rights-of-way to paths designed for foot, bicycle, equestrian or light motorized traffic. It is designated as a multiuse trail, offering recreational access to the routes, and is open to the public.
- Official website including history and campground information and maps
- Elroy Sparta Trail Guidebook The definitive source for the information needed to enjoy yourself on this beautiful bicycle trail
- Wisconsin Elroy to Sparta State Trail (map)