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Find the top rated atv trails in Wisconsin Rapids, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
As of Friday, September 28, the Sparta to Norwalk portion of the Elroy/Sparta Trail, including the excellent tunnel #3, has reopened.
This trail was closed in September by the Wisconsin DNR, due to mudslides and other trail conditions caused by heavy rains.
This trail was closed in September by the Wisconsin DNR, due to mudslides and other trail conditions caused by heavy rains
In September 2018 a friend and I biked north from Elroy to the tunnel, about 6 miles. The first mile was bumpy old asphalt, for which a hybrid or mountain bike would be more comfortable than our road bikes using 35mm tires. Then the trail surface became smoother with crushed limestone. Quiet ride, pleasant views. South of the tunnel was a "Trail Closed" sign due to mudslides from heavy rains. Dirt and gravel were over 3 feet high in places, with 2-inch-deep mud. We walked around these to the tunnel, which is clear. Due to time constraints, we didn't go further. Bottom line: if you're willing to get muddy and have 35mm or wider tires, it's a pleasant ride at this time. Also, the trail is maintained by Juneau County, not the state.
Being a Chicago &Northwestern railfan I enjoyed walking from county V to the town of Lavalle and seeing the bridges and scenery and the next day walking from County V two miles south on the trail had a beautiful time.
Walked from County V to Lavalle very nice walk enjoyed the walk took photos of the bridges and Lavalle nice small town very friendly people on trail. Next day walked from County V two miles south on trail had a ball saw 4 deer.
The western half of the trail, in Portage County, is honestly the best state trail surface I've ever enjoyed. After you cross into Waupaca County (eastbound), the trail degenerates quickly, with the last 10 miles at the east end being some of the worst state trail surfaces I've ever experienced. Hoof marks, overgrowth, sand, and ruts in the eastern portion. Beautiful, rustic scenery throughout, and you're not slammed up against a busy highway, so it's easier to enjoy the beautiful nature around you.
The western end is in the outskirts of a major agri-business area, so pesticides are almost certainly a concern during parts of the year there. (Indeed a sign in Plover mentions that the trail may be closed during aerial spraying days.)
Take a mountain bike (or at least something with larger tires) if you're gonna do the Waupaca County portion. Any bike can handle the Portage County portion, which again, is excellent. I only encountered 6 other cyclists for the entire length of the trail on a beautiful, sunny summer Saturday (June 9, 2018).
I rode this trail, and much more as part of a several hundred mile bicycle trip in the early 1970's, and again just this portion several years later. I did not dismount going through the tunnels, just kept my ears sharp listening to the dripping water to maintain my center of the trail; no flashlight either. The tunnel that makes the bend was the real challenge. I remember that a farmer had put a soft drink machine at the edge of his farm along the trail, and I wondered how much the electric cable must had cost him.
It was easy pedaling and the best part was it was free. Seeing now that there is a charge, and not a trivial one, I would never return. The surface seemed mostly packed shale.
The businesses at each end of the trail were just getting started then and there was very little traffic on the trail. There seemed a hint that they expected snowmobiles to be the biggest draw at that time, with winter use being the major use.
The second time I rode it was in the Fall, and the colors were amazing, and it was a wonderful time.
This is a nice trail but needs to be better maintained, especially when they are charging $5 per day to ride the trail. Four of us rode July 21, 2018 (Saturday) and 2 trees were down between Wilton and Elroy. We had to lift our bikes over and then climb over a large tree blocking the path. Another tree was down but you could get around it by going in the ditch. People with bike trailers for children would not be able to pass. Other areas had a lot of mud on the trail. The tunnels are very cool but it is disappointing that you have to walk your bike, one is 3/4 mile long and that really interrupts the flow of a ride. Again, I think if the surface in the tunnels was better maintained it would be safe to ride through.
I just completed a one-day, 97-mile bike ride on this trail, starting at the Howard, WI trail-head to Weston, WI, and through Wausau [to go home] for the added miles. The best conditions were in Brown County, with lots of shade and lots of trail users. Marathon County had good conditions too, but had much less shade over the trail [bring sunblock]. Shawano County conditions were...different. Prepare for a double-track fire road throughout almost all of Shawano County with the likelihood of muddy spots. If biking, a mountain bike is a must or bring a road bike with at least 38mm wide tires with tread [my personal recommendation]. Deer flies were very numerous throughout Shawano County. I have about two dozen deer fly bites across my hands and arms [bring bug spray]. Also, there were six areas on the trail with downed trees--two of which were very difficult to navigate around [I think all six areas were somewhere between mile marker 50-60--from Howard, WI]. Honestly, as tough a day as it was, it was a really fun and gorgeous trail to ride. I personally liked the variety in trail conditions. I highly recommend this trail for the prepared enthusiast.
I just spent the last 2 days riding this trail. We started out at the Kendall depot on Monday(it is closed on Monday and Tuesday) so I didn't get a chance to go inside. We rode 3 1/2 miles to the first tunnel. That was amazing to see as I rode towards it and started to feel the cool air coming from it. Very cool tunnel. After the 1st tunnel it was a pretty good downhill ride. I think it was about 8 1/2 miles to the next tunnel.Overall we turned around at the 12 mile point and went back to the car in Kendall. Coming back was tougher as it got hotter, and it was more uphill. I also got a leak in my back tire with 6-7 miles to go. I had to use my mini pump to fill it 3 different times to make it back. I changed the inner tube later that night at the hotel. After the ride we got in the car and drove to Sparta. We stayed at a nice hotel(Super 8) and had a great dinner at Slice of Chicago. We woke up and rode the Tail starting in Sparta. It was a gradual uphill ride for 9 miles to get to the 3rd tunnel. It was a long tunnel and yes it was dripping quite a bit. You get a little wet but not drenched at all. I had a great flashlight attached to my bike that worked great. We tuned around at the 11 mile mark and had a good downhill ride back to the Sparta depot. Right before tunnel 3 we stopped and talked to the older guy who sells ice cream and flashlights out of a small shack. What a friendly nice guy. Overall this trip worked out great with biking over two days. The trail, and the tunnels,and the countryside were beautiful. The only reason I gave this trail 4 stars was because it isn't paved. I had no problem with the trail surface except at some points it is a little narrow,but well compacted. It was about 2 1/2 hours from Milwaukee,and I will definitely be back to ride this some more. It was a really fun little trip. If you haven't been to this trail,you should make a trip out here.
We live an hour away from this trail and have driven past it many times, but never tried it. Finally decided to ride it two weeks ago. It is a great trail. Up and down hills, in the woods and wetlands, and through quiet neighborhoods, this trail has it all. It is about 30 miles around the whole trail. We added two extra trails that branch off of it (Hoover Road Trail and Heartland Trail) to make it around 44 miles. The trail is well marked and you won't have problems figuring out where to go. We ate downtown at The Wooden Chair and had an excellent lunch. They are only open from 7 to 2 so plan your ride accordingly. We plan on making this trail one of our yearly excursions because we enjoyed it so much.
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