La Crosse River, Elroy-Sparta state trails on Wisconsin’s first national bicycle routes
MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Two U.S. Bike Routes, including the La Crosse River State Trail and the Elroy-Sparta State Trail, are Wisconsin’s first nationally designated bicycle routes.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials awarded the designations.
The 269-mile USBR 30 crosses the state from east to west, beginning at Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and ending in Bluff Siding on the Mississippi River. The route uses multiple types of existing bicycling infrastructure, including state and county bike trails, local roads and bike paths and state and county highways.
USBR 230 is an alternate leg, providing routing directions for use when the Merrimac Ferry (Colsac III) is not in operation.
“Establishing this route has been years in the making, and it’s a great accomplishment for the state,” said Craig Thompson, the state Department of Transportation’s secretary-designee.
“More than 70 communities in 11 counties worked together to create this great transportation corridor that will be enjoyed by local, regional and national bicyclists,” Thompson said.
USBR 30/230 guides bicyclists through more than 160 miles of Department of Natural Resources state and county trails. Many are converted former railroad corridors, including:
• Hank Aaron State Trail
• Oak Leaf Trail (Milwaukee County Trail)
• New Berlin Trail (Waukesha County Trail)
• Glacial Drumlin State Trail
• Capital City State Trail
• 400 State Trail
• Elroy-Sparta State Trail
• La Crosse River State Trail
• Great River State Trail
• New Berlin Trail
• Oak Leaf Trail.
A map and turn-by-turn directions are available on the WisDOT website.
“More than half of USBR 30 is made up of our state bike trails,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole. “This new route gives bicyclists detailed directions to navigate across the state, providing yet another way to experience our great outdoors.”
Wisconsin’s USBR 30/230 route showcases many natural and cultural resources while traveling through rural, urban and suburban communities.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which was established in 1978, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
It represents all transportation modes, with the primary goal to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is an evolving national network of bicycle routes. It includes more than 14,000 miles in 29 states and Washington, D.C.
In addition to the recreational and health value of bicycling, the 2019 Economic Impact of Bicycling in Wisconsin, that consumers spent $1.42 billion on bicycle-related expenses in the Badger State in 2017.
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