Enjoy quaint towns and rural landscapes as you bike the road routes and trails of the Green Lake area. From casual touring around towns to rail trails to looping Big Green Lake, there is something for everyone!
Developing and maintaining road routes and trails is the focus of Green Lake Greenways, an organization that advocates, educates, and encourages safe biking. Working together with the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and the Green Lake County Highway Department, Greenways will mark three bike routes that start and end in Princeton with new signs in 2018. Huckleberry Loop will be signed in purple, Oxbow Loop in red, and Rustic River Loop in orange. The colorful signs will contrast nicely against the natural backdrop of the routes. Bikers can park in downtown Princeton in a lot at Farmer and Water Streets to begin these trails.
Visit the Greenways website and Facebook page for details about the 2018 Greenways’ annual Movin’ on the Mascoutin trail ride. The ride will be a blend of trails and road routes. Proceeds benefit future phases of the Green Lake Greenways bike path project, which will connect the communities of Green Lake, Ripon, and Berlin. Young, old, expert, and novice, all bicycling enthusiasts are invited to the ride.
Expect scenic country roads, lake vistas, and gently rolling farm hills on the following area road routes and trails:
• Huckleberry Loop. 15 miles of mostly flat, secluded back roads with a couple of challenging hills and fishing spots along the Fox River.
• Rustic River Loop. 22 miles of blacktop and gravel roads. The winding White River crosses the path numerous times.
• Oxbow Loop. 8 miles of fairly hilly country winding along the Fox River.
• Tuttle Creek Trek. 30 miles. Halfway through stop at Tuttle Lake’s public beach to swim or picnic before touring more beautiful country on fairly level roads coming back.
• Mecan Crossing Loop. An easy 19-mile ride through farm country. Cross over the Mecan River, noted for its canoe trips and waterfowl.
• Northwest Passage. Scenic 28-mile ride along ridges, lowlands, and creeks leading to neighboring Neshkoro and back.
• Little Northwest Passage. A shortened version of Northwest Passage with 11 miles of beautifully secluded roads leading back to Princeton.
• Mascoutin Valley State Trail. 12 miles of renovated surface passing farms, prairies, and wetlands in scenic Green Lake, Winnebago, and Fond du Lac Counties. Built on a former railroad corridor, the trail travels between Berlin and Ripon. Vines & Rushes Winery, on the trail, welcomes bikers.
• Northwestern Trail. 3.5 miles of packed gravel base on a former railroad corridor. The trail begins at the Ripon Public Library and is a great way for trail users to extend their ride on the Mascoutin through the city of Ripon. Wonderful tree-lined streets take riders through the city of Ripon, around Ripon College, and past beautiful Victorian homes known as painted ladies.
• Ceresco Prairie Conservancy. Located next to Ripon College. A great trail for mountain biking.
Trail maps can be found on local chamber websites and at GreenLakeGreenways.org .
Jean Cornelius is a Freelance Writer and Photographer.