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The US Highway 12 Path offers a convenient, non-motorized alternative to traveling on the highway. The paved pathway begins in Middleton and heads northwest paralleling the roadway, separated from traffic by a wide grassy median. (From this southern end, you can connect to the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail to follow a lush wooded creek eastward through Middleton.)
Much of the trail experience is wide open and rural. You might see cows out in the pastures and red-winged black birds atop fence posts. Mostly farms and occasionally businesses dot the route. Just past Springfield Corners, the trail ends at Rauls Road.
There is a gap of a few miles (which can be traversed via the the paved shoulder of Highway 12) before the trail picks up again at N. Dunlap Hollow Road, continuing its northward journey through the Wisconsin countryside. The trail ends in Sauk City at the Phillips Boulevard bridge crossing of the Wisconsin River.
Nice path if you like car noise. All along Hwy 12, thus the name.
This is a nice trail, BUT wouldn't it make sense for it to be connected from where it ends near Rauls Road to the over-highway 12 walking/biking bridge that was never used (just going weeds on it) to the trail end at Dunlap Hollow Road near Sauk City? Road bikers like a LONG ride most days and connecting these trails would also add the Sauk River Trail ride as well! This would bring road bikers into Sauk businesses for refreshments. Letting that bridge go is a shame. It was constructed to connect the trails, but someone dropped the ball.
I’m an adult experienced cyclist / most motorists don’t believe bikes have any right to the road - so forget the highway - I got off at junction XP and climbed Katzenbuchel and returned via Dunlap to the trail - took 188 to and then followed
My intentions were to finish my biking day in Wisconsin that I had started on the Great Sauk State Trail by traveling the US Highway 12 Path from Sauk City to Middleton, WI. Of the total 18 miles, the separated path totals about 11 miles. I decided to use some back roads to limit the stretch I would be using the paved shoulder on Highway 12. This turned out to be a poor choice for me as I only had the energy to make it to Springfield Corners. On the way back I stayed the whole time on the Highway 12 path or paved shoulder. The countryside viewed from the back roads was beautiful, but the grades were steeper, with more hills, than just staying on US 12. This is logical as the US 12 highway is a modern limited access highway which was designed to have low hills and flatter grades.
The separated path is paved and still in good riding condition. The paved shoulder is separated from the outside highway lane by about 2 feet of extra pavement and maybe 2 feet of rumble strip to warn any vehicles diverging from the lanes. For the bicyclist, the paved riding width is about 1-bicycle width wide. The paved shoulder was in good riding condition, but weeds are growing in the pavement cracks and this might eventually cause some distortions.
I was comfortable riding on the paved shoulder. This is acceptable for experienced adult riders but not for families. There is traffic noise of course but the countryside is rural open lands to view. If I had stayed on Rte 12 I would have been able to make it to Middleton and back.
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