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NOTE: The Hank Aaron State Trail will be closed from 94th Place to the Oak Leaf Trail for the construction of bridges and structures over the trail until the summer of 2017. For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
The Hank Aaron State Trail follows the Menomonee River from Lake Michigan west about 13.5 miles. Before settlement, the river valley was a wild rice marsh and home to Native Americans. In the 1800s, the valley was filled in to pave the way for industry. The Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railway once thundered through, carrying passengers and goods to other parts of the country. The Hank Aaron State Trail now occupies much of that rail bed.
The well-used trail provides an ideal travel route for bicyclists, walkers, runners and inline skaters. It begins at Lakeshore State Park near the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds in Milwaukee and heads west through the historic Third Ward, past Miller Park (home of Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers), ending in Elm Grove at Blue Mound Road.
Interpretive signs along the trail relate the cultural, social, industrial and natural history of the Menomonee Valley, and you will enjoy the trail art, which honors Wisconsin's Native Americans. The Hank Aaron State Trail links to Milwaukee County's 96-mile Oak Leaf Trail, at S. 84th Street; Florida and 2nd streets; the Young Street bridge; Blue Mound Road; and the Lake Michigan waterfront.
While the vast majority of the trail is paved, the westernmost couple of miles have a crushed limestone surface. This segment will be paved upon completion of the Interstate 94 reconfiguration at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Currently, a signed on-road detour takes trail users around the construction.
You can access the Hand Aaron State Trail at:
Mitchell Boulevard in the VA grounds
56th Street from the south
68th Street from the north at Dickenson
89th Street from the south
From the Oak Leaf Trail at Blue Mound Rd.
There is new signage in the 116th ST. & W. Washington St. area directing you to the Oak Leaf Trail if you are trying to connect from the detour of the Hank Aaron in that area, north of Greenfield Park. Although the Hank Aaron trail between W. Blumound Rd and the 94th St. detour is still under construction, if you have a trail bike, it is passable, although there are some shaky areas. It is gravel with standing water covering it in some areas. I would not try it during the week when there is active construction.
This section is clear of snow and nice to ride. Detour is awful as usual. Can't wait till construction is done
Part of a ride from Fox Point Wi. To Madison Wi.. This was the second of four trails we rode that. The first being The Oak Leaf Trail, The Hank Arron Trail, The New Berlin Trail and the Glacial Drumlin Trail completed the trip. The Hank Arron Trail zipped us through Milwaukee like a bike expressway. It is a trail that does share some areas with traffic but mostly you can ride on a extra wide side walk. The trail took us past Miller Stadium and The Harley-Davison Museum. The trail also has a small section that is wooded. The trail markings can be confusing at points. Pay attention to that. Mostly on the west end of the trail. The trail is mostly flat. A great way to see Milwaukee.
Great news, the trail has been expanded so you no longer have to use the traffic circle near the Iron Horse hotel (it was my least favorite part from the lake to Wauwatosa). The new trail can be seen on google maps, where it allows you to exit the 6th street bridge (from the west side) down along the river edge to access Pittsburgh Ave.
AFAIK, the entire area from 94th St to the H-D museum is paved (I've been getting off near Miller Park lateley.
This is a fantastic commuter line that really allows you to access a great deal of the city. It also connects to the Oak Leaf trail, Honey Creek Parkway, and other bike friendly areas.
If you are a tourist, it's not a particularly scenic trail, although you can easily access (in order of West to East), the State Fair Park, Miller Park, the Harley Davidson Museum, the Third ward, Summerfest grounds, Art Museum, and other lakefront attractions. Visit a local bike shop to get a map of MKE bike trails.
FYI, to get to the lakefront area from the H-D museum, take Pittsburgh to Chicago to Harbor to catch the Oak Leaf trail near Discovery World. It's on city streets, but not a bad place to ride.
"The Hank Aaron State Trail will be closed from 94th Place to the Oak Leaf Trail for the construction of bridges and structures over the trail until the summer of 2017."
This is true. Don't go past the barriers. Use the detour. But I haven't used the detour, so I can't say if there are signs and labeled correctly.
Nice trail. Good change of scenery along the way. Just enough curves in the road, slight elevation changes for the most part (although there is one tougher hill in the Valley), adequate tree cover from the sun on hot days. A little iffy getting from the Harley Davidson Museum to Lakeshore State Park along city streets if biking with younger children.
I really do not like the fact that you are on "the side walk along Canal Street". West of 35th street it is a nice trail. However you need to ride on the 35th street bridge and Canal street to 6th street where again you need to ride on the 6th street bridge which is not the best. So I prefer the trail west of 35th street to the west end. Why the trail does not cross Bluemound road is something that I do not understand because it could connect to some nice area's in Elm-Grove and some of the nearby Brookfield parks.The other nice place to park is at 121st street in Wauwatosa (weekends only). During the week people that own the businesses need the parking. My main question is "where are the rest-rooms for the trail"?
....every year. The offroad nature of most of the trail makes it ideal for safe commuting, It goes off-road at the Menomonee River at Selig drive and stays that way all the way to 6th street. At that point it becomes more problematic. However I only ride the off-road, so I will discuss that. The paved portion is nice and wide making passing pedestrians easier and safer. For most of the way, the path goes along Canal Street with its hills and valleys. They are not terribly steep ad are very smooth.
In the area west of 35th Street, there are branching gravel paths which give a comprehensive view of the area's flood control efforts. There are several ponds which vary from full to barely wet depending on the precipitation. However, some areas of the paved path remain wet for days after a rain. These areas are not large and are always safely ridden through. Hopefully, the problem will be rectified.
Keep in mind that in the area of the path between 26th and Emmber Ln, you share the path with City of Milwaukee truck entrances. Not a huge problem but just be aware. Also, you cross several roads the most hazardous is 32nd Street, where there is a stop sign for the cross traffic which isn't always honored, and the 26th Street roundabout which can be an adventure; however, there is an island in the middle.
Those wishing to avoid the City of Milwaukee entrances can do so by taking the detour along the River at Emmber Lane and at 26th Street. Two things: the area at the west end gets FLOODED for about 100 meters after a good rain. The depth is at least to your ankles so ride slowly to avoid the mixture of water and garage debris. Also there is only an in and out at each end the area next to the path is all solid fencing.
Those are some of the physical highlights but I should mention that at one point to pass the Palermo Pizza factory and get to smell that. Always makes me hungry!
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