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The New Berlin Trail runs east–west, arrow straight, through Milwaukee's western suburbs, between Waukesha and West Allis. You will find a very smooth flat trip with a slight downhill advantage if you travel west to east. The first 5.5 miles are in Waukesha, with wide-open spaces and a rural environment. As you approach New Berlin and continue into Greenfield Park, parks and residential areas flank the trail. There are a few major road crossings that require caution.
Though not a particularly scenic rail-trail—power lines provide cover rather than trees—what it lacks in scenery it makes up for in location. Though mainly a community path, the trail is an important link in the system connecting the Oak Leaf, West Allis Cross Town Connector, Glacial Drumlin and Fox River trails.
The communities of Waukesha, New Berlin and West Allis were once sleepy outposts of Milwaukee in the late 1800s. Although the Chicago and North Western Railroad serviced the area, a critical turning point for growth came with the state of Wisconsin's 1892 selection of West Allis as the official location of the annual state fair. Increased rail service was established to bring residents of Milwaukee to the fairgrounds. In 1894 the Milwaukee Street Car Company again expanded service to the fairgrounds in West Allis, and these communities began to thrive.
The legacy of the railroad continues today with the New Berlin Trail. Along the way stop at Greenfield Park to enjoy its amenities, including a golf course, swimming pool, tot lot, concessions, picnic areas and ball fields. And don't forget to experience the event to which this corridor traces its origin: the Wisconsin State Fair.
A parking lot can be found where the trail interests S. Springdale Road. Limited parking is also available at S. Sunnyslope Road.
The trailhead in West Allis is in Greenfield Park, at the intersection of SR 59 and 124th Street. You'll find the trailhead adjacent to the main parking lot, across from the Greenfield Park Pavilion.
Except for the fact you will be riding under the power lines all the way this is a nice trail. If there is a little breeze you can't here nearby traffic. It passes through back yards, a few wetlands and a sod farm.
And yes, as other people have mentioned, be careful crossing the roads. It doesn't matter who's right or who's wrong. It's who's left that matters. Be careful.
We ride this trail a lot. Can be quite busy but is paved. Basically slight uphill all the way to Waukesha. Trailside Cycle on Calhoun road has free air, a nice picnic table to rest at, and drinks inside. Sunnyslope, Moreland road, and Calhoun road can be difficult to cross. Cars do not slow down. Be very careful.
This course is Flat & Straight with ONLY a few intersections to cross. VERY NICE for training. My wife & I use it ALL the time for biking & running. Some think it's a BORING trail; but we see LOTS of birds ranging from hawks, cardinals, blue jays, cranes, geese, black birds, yellow finches, ect., ALSO see deer, raccoons, & other wildlife...even a coyote from time to time. Here is a youtube clip of the trail if interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DVcqYtZ1bQ
We rode this trail continuing from the Hank Arron Trail. We rode the trail from West Allis Wi. to Waukesha Wi.. The trail is flat and headed west. Nominal head wind on the day we rode it but there are areas that have open fields that could make a westbound ride a bit more energy consuming. The trail follows tall power lines most of the way. The trail is a great connector trail and is well used my local commuters. All in all not a great scenic trail but a great connecting trail to the much more scenic Glacial Drumlin Trail.
We tried out the trail on a Sunday. Nice for walking, lots of bikers. Its best to park your car by SunnySlope Rd or by Gatewood Park on Kostner Lane.
The New Berlin Trail is an easy way to go 7 miles in a very short time! Although the scenery might not be the best, but by the time I start to notice the scenery I'm already almost done with the trail. Truly an amazing trail!
Like the easy grade. Went east to west and coasted back. Great path for families. There is nice views especially in the morn. Might get hot in afternoon. Agree with the greenfield park start area.
Just so-so. While it is straight and level, the scenery didn't really change and there was no tree cover for hot sunny days. Bring enough water 'cause the sun can really beat down on you here.
I do enjoy the trail especially now that there are either tables or benches every mile. The place that I like to park at is in Greenfield park because you can park near the trail and have a table to sit at either before or after the ride. To me the trail is very scenic considering the fact that it is in a very densely populated area. There are a lot of trees and bushes and in the fall the fall colors are very nice.
The best thing I can say about this trail is the newer paved surface is great. The trail itself is as straight as an arrow with a slight continual grade upwards from east to west. High tension wires provide the scenery, although it is tree lined and some rural areas on western portion. Great trail if you just want to get out and ride. Connects with other trails namely the Oak Leaf north or south. Parking at Greenfield Park Golf Course is very convenient (bathrooms/concessions at clubhouse). There's also a bike shop at the Calhoun Road crossing if any maintenance is required.
This is my favorite trail. It's sooooo flat and connects to a ton of other trails
I live in Waukesha, and used this trail many times to go to West Allis and Milwaukee. Used it 3 times last summer to attend Brewers games -- it gets you about 3/4 of the way there (no fee to park if you are on bike!) The trail was improved a couple of years ago, and I believe it is now completely paved. Very safe--only need to look out at busy HWY 164, and Moreland Roads, plus Calhoun which is not as busy as the other two. Nothing tricky about crossing, just be careful. Very flat and pretty dull, but useful for transit. I find riding the streets of Waukesha more enjoyable--it has extra-wide streets with little traffic, plus some hills and a variety of buildings and houses to look at. New Berlin trail is free, as opposed to Glacial Drumlin, which is part of a pay system. At the east end of the trail is Greenfield park, with a concessions stand when the pool is operating. Lots of civilization just a few blocks away.
"As of June, this trail has been recently paved, making it a smooth path for roller blading, roller skiing, etc. Since then, it has seen a large increase in usage, at least from my sightings while commuting.
New Berlin, WI"
This past summer I did this trail with some friends and really enjoyed the ride. Much more scenic than I had expected.
"I rode the westernmost 4 miles of this trail in September 2005. If you are gravely fearful of riding in traffic, this trail may appeal to you. Otherwise, the coarse gravel surface, location under high-tension powerlines, and industrial setting should dissuade you from making this a destination. Its value is as a connection between Milwaukee and the Glacial Drumlin."
"We used this trail as a connector on our cross-state tour, but it has its merits. Yes, it's flat and follows a railroad line and high-tension power lines, but it does pass through some interesting marshes, and I like trains. Otherwise, it is unremarkable, but will be an important link between the Glacial Drumlin and the Oak Leaf system in Milwaukee."
" While I have not personally ridden this trail, all info which I have found indicates that it is a dead straight (east-west), dead flat, suburban ""connector/commuter link"". It will serve nicely (once a few other 'links' are developed) to provide biking from downtown Milwaukee lakefront all the way to Madison. Otherwise, in-and-of itself, it has relatively little 'merit'."
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