New Berlin Recreation Trail


22 Reviews

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New Berlin Recreation Trail Facts

States: Wisconsin
Counties: Waukesha
Length: 7 miles
Trail end points: Lincoln St. (Wuakesha) and S 124th St., Milwaukee County Line (West Allis)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017633

New Berlin Recreation Trail Description


The paved New Berlin Recreation Trail runs straight as an east-west compass bearing for 7 miles through the western Milwaukee suburbs, from New Berlin to Waukesha. While it is void of trestles, tunnels, and trees as it passes beneath the power lines of We Energies, many residents find it a fast and convenient commuter route, with a few distractions along the way.

About the Route

The New Berlin Recreation Trail leaves off from its western endpoint along Lincoln St, a small industrial road with some parking at the end. After the trail heads east and passes through Springdale Rd., there is a 3-mile stretch without any street crossings. A majority of the trail's route follows an active railroad, though the wide railroad right-of-way provides a significant distance between the trail and the rail. 

At Calhoun St., there is a trailside bike shop and a couple of cafes nearby. In the old days, the Calhoun Crossroads were the beginning/end of the electric railroad. The trail then passes Buena Park, which offers restrooms and later on, Gatewood Park. 

The trail comes to its eastern endpoint at the 282-acre Greenfield Park just after crossing South 124th st on a pedestrian bridge. 


At the trail's western endpoint, it connects to the Barstow to Frederick Street Connector (Route of the Badger).

At the eastern end of the trail, trail users can continue along the West Allis Cross Town Connector (Route of the Badger) and the Oak Leaf Trail.

The New Berlin Recreation Trail is part of the Route of the Badger, a developing trail network in Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

Trail History

The New Berlin Recreation Trail follows the former interurban railway route of the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, which started running trains and providing electricity in the 1890s. Waukesha, New Berlin, and West Allis were sleepy outposts at the time, but a critical turning point came in 1892 when Wisconsin chose West Allis as the official location of the annual state fair. The electric railway launched a trolley service toward the west in 1898, and the communities began to thrive. Railway business declined, however, as car and truck use expanded in the 20th century. The Waukesha line, taken over by the Milwaukee Rapid Transit and Speedrail Co., was shut down in 1951, leaving only the utility corridor.

Parking and Trail Access

The New Berlin Recreation Trail runs between Lincoln St. (Waukesha) and S 124th St., Milwaukee County Line (West Allis). 

Parking is available at:

  • 1900 Springdale Rd (Waukesha)
  • Buena Park, 16133 W Heritage Ln (New Berlin)
  • Greenfield Park, 2028 S 124th St (West Allis)

See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

New Berlin Recreation Trail Reviews

The more things change, the more they stay the same

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.


Nice trail except for many bumps - cracks going across path.

favorite trail

I love this trail. I connect from New Berlin 124th Street and take it out to Waukesha. My favorite part is near the sod farm as the air smells so fresh

The trail gets a little rough for road bikes, but overall it's pretty smooth.

The trail gets a little rough for road bikes, but overall it's pretty smooth.


This trail suprised me

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.

124 st to Waukesha

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.

Fast STRAIGHT trail

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.

The Milwaukee Express

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.

Good walking/biking 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!

great beg. 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.

New Berlin Rec Trail

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.

The trail in 2012

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.

Great Surface

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.

Favorite Trail

This is my favorite trail. It's sooooo flat and connects to a ton of other trails

Good Condition and Useful, If Unexciting

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.

New Berlin Trail - recently paved

"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.

Todd Jensen
New Berlin, WI"

Wonderful Trail

This past summer I did this trail with some friends and really enjoyed the ride. Much more scenic than I had expected.

Utilitarian Trail

"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."

Mixed scenery

"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."

Connector/Commuter Link

" 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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