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Happy Trails

Do you remember the days when you would bike over to your friend’s house and then proceed to bike around the neighborhood for hours at a time? I do. And this last Outdoor Adventure had me doing just that. Only we traded sidewalks and training wheels for dirt trails and mountain treads.

To be honest, the idea of mountain biking was a little intimidating to me. Not only does it look and sound dangerous, but I have only been on a bike a handful of times over the past 8 years! I was lucky enough to have some very knowledgeable friends and guides for this mountain biking adventure. Joining me on this escapade was avid biker and photographer, Jake Schnake of Matt Mason Photography and Wisconsin’s Department of Tourism Regional Specialist, David Speigelberg.

Even though the idea of mountain biking was initially intimidating to me, I really enjoyed this outdoor activity. To get a little taste of mountain biking we traveled in our backyard to the trails at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours.

Before taking on the trails we checked our ABCs (Air, Brakes and Chains) to make sure everything was in working condition.

This experience provided me with three extremely important benefits:
1) I got a great workout.
2) Spent some time in nature and the fresh outdoors.
3) I had the opportunity to push myself in a new sport.

I’m not the only one who has a new appreciation and love for the sport of mountain biking. Mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular in America. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, an estimated 40 million Americans mountain bike each year!  With an increased interest in mountain biking, tourism and recreation organizations are making and developing biking trails for all different level bikers worldwide.

I was surprised to learn that Wisconsin is becoming a big name in the world of mountain biking.  Wisconsin consistently ranks in the top ten states for biking with the American League of Bicyclists. Wisconsin also hosts one of the country’s largest bike race series known as the Wisconsin Off Road Race Series. Many major bike manufacturers (Trek, Waterford Precision Cycles, Hayes Disc Brakes, Saris Bike Racks) are produced here in Wisconsin!  There is even a race in Lake Geneva called the Fat Tire Ride, where hundreds of riders come together for a fun bike ride around the lake.

Want to be a part of this amazing sport?
If so, you’re in luck because Walworth County is home to at least four great mountain biking trails.

(Quick things to remember: Biking is to always wear a helmet, bring some water to stay hydrated, and bring a Multi-Tool with screwdrivers and wrenches for some quick fixes while on the trail.)

LAKE GENEVA CANOPY TOURS

1.Lake Geneva Canopy Tours has almost 9 miles of mountain biking trails, ranging from beginner to expert levels. Most of the riding is through the forest, with a variety of elevation changes and some fun features like bridges, jumps, switchbacks and log overs. Enjoy the trails at Lake Geneva Canopy Tour as people are zipping above you. Riding the trails may take 45-60 minutes.

Trail Information:

Mountain Biking Day Pass$10/Person

Hiking & Mountain Biking Annual Pass$40/Person

Hiking & Mountain Biking Annual Family Pass$75/Family

N3219 County Rd H

Lake Geneva, WI 53147

262.248.9271

http://www.lakegenevacanopytours.com/hiking-biking/

ALPINE VALLEY

2.Alpine Valley has 6 miles of intermediate to advanced mountain biking trails with over 750 feet of elevation!  This trail system, located at Alpine Valley Ski Area, was built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. They have trails with inclines, rocks, and logs! Great trails to challenge experienced bikers.  Riding the trails at Alpine Valley may take 45-60 minutes.

Trail information:

http://www.alpinevalleyresort.com

W2501 Hwy D

Elkhorn, WI 53121

For prices and other information contact them directly 262.642.7374 | 800.227.9395

KETTLE MORAINE STATE FOREST

3.Together, the John Muir and Emma Carlin Trails located in Kettle Moraine State Forest are home to 25 miles of trails!  This trail system has color coded loops designed for beginner to expert riders. This is a great place to put some miles on your bike if you’re looking for a long ride. Nearby you can also find the LaGrange close to the trail The LaGrange General Store and Backyard Bikes. At this combined business, you can both rent biking equipment and stock up on picnic items for the ride.

Trail information:

Backyard Bikes and Ski
LaGrange General Store, Cafe & Deli
W6098 Highway 12
(Highway 12 and County H)
Whitewater, WI 53538

http://www.backyardbikes.com/Trails.asp

For trail conditions, call 262-594-6200 or 6202 (DNR).

GRAND GENEVA

4.Grand Geneva has almost 6 miles of trails. Most are designed for advanced riders but there are two miles for beginners.  The trails are primarily around the existing ski hills with more open grassland terrain. Since the trail system is on a resort property – consider looking into a spa treatment after your ride.

Trail information:

7036 Grand Geneva Way. Lake Geneva, WI 53147

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Entrance Fee … 1/2 Day $10 | Full Day $15 | 2 Days $25 8.5 miles of trails

BIKE RENTAL includes helmet and entrance fee Youth (ages 6 – 12) … 2 hrs $15 | 4 hrs $25 | 6 hrs $35 | 8 hrs $45 Adult ………… 2 hrs $20 | 4 hrs $35 | 6 hrs $50 | 8 hrs $65

http://www.grandgeneva.com/activities-lake-geneva/adventure-center/

By: Kelly Lofy

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