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Explore the best rated trails in Franklin, WI. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Seven Waters Bike Trail (Route of the Badger) and New Berlin Recreation Trail. With more than 61 trails covering 778 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
watch out for construction in the southern end of the trail—passable right now, but it may not be in a few weeks.
This is City of Waukesha walking/biking trail. Beware it has many intersections so use caution when crossing each road. Great connector trail to New Berlin and Glacial Drumlin.
Nice relaxing ride but there were a lot of areas that were washed out. The trail isn’t super exciting kind of flat but the bridges were nice.
A bit rough on some parts but still nice
There's nothing really to add that hasn't been said. But there are a few updates in 2023.
On the east end the NBT has been repaved to smooth out the trail connection between NBT, Oak Leaf and the crosstown connector. So you won't get the fillings rattled out of your skull anymore.
Trailside Bike shop now has a roadside workstation, with a lot of the parts you need to repair a bike. there's also a stand and air compressor. Something to keep in mind.
On the WEST end in Waukesha there's a new side trail. If you're connecting to the Glacial Drumlin Trail the trail forks to the left. Instead of going through the industrial complex you ride behind it to the newer "Waukesha Bike Trail". That will take you to the college, and with some street riding you can connect to the GDT without issue.
But beyond that, the trail hasn't changed much in the last several years. Well, the geese right by the Les Paul Parkway are meaner, but we all expect that by now. the NBT is a good trail, very well used and loved by the community.
The MRT is gravel lite. You COULD ride it on a road bike, but you really won't enjoy yourself. Mountain bikes or gravel / all road bikes recommended with at least a 38mm wide tire. The surface transitions from semi-compacted stone to broken asphalt several times, so the comfort level of low pressure high volume tires or suspension helps a lot.
A few things you might want to know from a local. The map on TrailLink doesn't tell the whole story. On the West end you can park in "Big Bend Village Park". There's an unnamed crushed limestone trail that starts at the far west end of the parking lot that connects to MRT. It adds a mile or two, but it's worth it. You can also park in "Cherry Street Park", which is right along the unnamed trail.
On the East end, the MRT links up to the "City of Franklin Bike Path", and there's a parking lot at "Ken Windl Park" with water and washroom facilities. It's a paved trail that makes a nice warm up. (Note : 2023 there is construction on W. Forest Home Ave. that blocks this trail for the whole year)
It's a trail worth take a day trip to ride, or incorporate it into a longer ride. Just know what you're rolling into, narrow tires will not enjoy this ride.
The trail closed signage is still up as of 4/15/2023 around the 8 mile area. You can get through, but considering the date, it's possible construction will resume as the weather warms in the next few weeks.
I've ridden this trail for 30 years and it's well maintained and relatively flat. The crushed limestone surface drains water away quickly though in winter, when the ground is frozen, the water can form puddles or freeze so you must be careful. After bigger rainstorms, some of the underpasses can be impassable (e.g., Route 60 especially--there is a side path that connects the trail but you need to cross a major road). The path gets multi-modal usage, from walkers, families, runners, horses, skiers, bicycles, to e-bikes. You can ride this with a road bike if you're confident but cross or gravel bikes are better but certainly not absolutely necessary. Nowadays we see fat-tire bikes, especially in winter, and e-bikes too. People are generally quite respectful of others. The trail is well marked and I recommend starting at Daniel Wright Woods or Old School Forest Preserve which are in southern Lake County. As others have said, going north from there keeps you in Lake County which does a great job of maintaining the trails.
A great place for walkers, hikers, bikers, and families. It’s been wonderfully restored and brings nice surprises during each season.
A very well maintained Trail with services and many parking lots. We experienced a lot of foot and bike traffic especially as we got close to the campgrounds.
I started out my ride from my home about 9 miles north of downtown Milwaukee where I caught "the Hank" and made my way west to the Glacial Drumlin Trail. I started out at 3:00 am, so it didn't really get light out until I got to about Wales. After that, I was on non-paved trail (my personal fav) for the rest of the ride to Madison. The trail is really very nice and mostly flat with a lot of varying landscapes. Since it's October, there were a ton of migrating birds and pretty good fall colors all along the trail, and I didn't see another human riding until I was about 5 hours into my trip near Lake Mills. The only thing keeping me from giving this trail 5 stars are the bridges, which are mostly bad. They do have a rubber strip running down the middle of them which helps, but they are still mostly bouncy and you have to deal with a 3-6" rise at the start of each of them. The west end of the trail was closed near Cottage Grove, and I had to take a detour on streets, which was fine. This is a highly recommended ride, especially during fall.
I had ridden the northern end of the Prairie trail & saw the sign forg the Hebron trail so decided one day to check it out. Rode from the Prairie Trail junction to the “trail end” at Lange Road & back again. About an hour round trip but that included stopping to take photos. It’s a well groomed trail, plenty wide for comfortable passing of others. West of Keystone Road crossing is pretty much straight & flat but scenery still varies.
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