Biking is unique because it’s not just a sport for those who want a relaxed exercise with scenic, wide-open spaces to ride, it’s for those who want to race against the wind alone or with other hardcore cyclists. It’s for families looking for an outing that gets their kids away from the TV and computer just long enough to bond in nature. It’s all of these things and more. A sport so unlike any other that it’s gaining traction everywhere you visit. Cyclist-friendly roads are popping up all over. Biking lanes are being added to construction projects. Law enforcement is being better trained to look out for the safety of bike riders on the road with other vehicles and motorcycles.
It’s indeed a sport gaining popularity, and the area that seems to have everything is also already a haven for cyclists. Each community in the Green Lake area has something special to offer cyclists, from the rolling hills, flat farmlands, and scenic beauty of the countryside that weave between each community to the breezy routes that loop the magnificent Big Green Lake.
In Green Lake, the local routes include 27 miles surrounding the lake, a two-mile paved trail that runs alongside Highway 23 from North Street to the Green Lake Conference Center, as well as a number of other routes that take riders on tremendous adventures through natural areas, farmland, Amish Country, and so much more. Sunnyside Conservancy and Guskey-Miller Prairie Trail right outside of Green Lake are also amazing off-roading destinations for those looking for a nature-seeking ride.
Heading out to Berlin, the Mascoutin Valley State Trail is 11 miles and stretches from Berlin to Ripon. It’s a crushed-limestone and grass pathway that weaves among the picturesque sights of wooded areas and vast lands. It remains mostly shaded throughout the summer. Ripon is also home to the Northwestern Trail, 3.5 miles of gravel base along an old railroad bed that begins behind the community’s public library.
Princeton offers the area a number of routes, with three of them boasting new signage from Green Lake Greenways to mark the way. One of these routes is the Huckleberry Loop, a 15-mile road route featuring blacktop and gravel roads. Nature lovers will be thrilled to notice the Fox River popping up several times along this route. Rustic River Loop is also an adventure to tread. It’s 22 miles along the territory of the White River and White River Marsh area. Oxbow Loop is a slightly smaller 8-mile route consisting of hills along the Fox River.
Bring your own bikes to enjoy the Green Lake area at your leisure. Bike rentals can also be found at Pierless Boat Rentals in Green Lake, where riders can find the beauty throughout the Green Lake Conference Center property.
The area is always hopping with biking events as well, such as the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Green Lake 100 ride. For more information about biking throughout the Green Lake area or area cycling events, please contact any of the local chambers.
Alyssa Paulsen is a freelance writer.