up the bikers and bikes (the food and the gear was coming later) into
two cars and headed to Reedsburg, the end (or beginning) of the "400
State Trail. There we left our cars in the parking lot of the renovated
depot, we met up with the shuttle service that loaded our bikes into
a trailer and loaded us into a 15 passenger van. There are a number
of shuttle services
to take your crew to the other end of the trail. We found a cheaper
mom & pop shuttle service (but I've lost the number).They drove
us all the way to Trempealeau (not the trail head but they told us there
was nothing to see in Marshland). I don't remember but I think our shuttle
fee was about $15 a head.
our trip right on the Mississippi River and made the
36 miles to West Salem - completing the Great
River State Trail and about 12 miles into the La
Crosse River State Trail. We found a place to set up camp at Veteran's
Memorial County Park and Campground. We collected "firewood"
(a pile of scrap building material) in "firewood carts" (old
push mowers with the motors replaced by metal buckets). Our one driver
arrived with the food, tents and gear. We took turns driving so no one
person was stuck with the car.
day we finished the La
Crosse River State Trail and made our way through the Elroy-Sparta
State Trail, by far the most impressive leg of the trip. There are
three old train tunnels on the trail, one almost a mile long. Its completely
dark so you need to walk your bike and a flash light is helpful. A light
jacket is also useful no matter what the temperature is outside. The
tunnels are cold and water drips from the ceiling.
drove the car (and gear) ahead to Winton to our next
campsite then biked back to meet the rest of us. We biked 32 miles and
arrived in Winton, where Kathy and I had to take everyone
to Gina's Pies are Square, a great little cafe with
fantastic sandwiches and 9" square pies. The pie is amazing. Trust
the campsite was nice it rained very hard all night. We got soaked.
But it was better than biking in the rain.
morning, two more bikers drove the car back to Reedsburg where the other
cars were parked then biked back to meet up with the group. The last
day was our longest trip of 37 miles, finishing up the Elroy-Sparta
State Trail then making the 22 mile trip to Reedsburg on the "400"
State Trail. We passed through some great wet lands along the way.
favorite rails-to-trails ride so far. The trails are easy, the towns
are inviting and the scenery is amazing. I find the towns on the Military
Ridge Trail not as inviting where as every little burg along the
Elroy-Sparta State Trail
really celebrates the fact they are part of this trail system. Its a
trip I would definitely do again.