Sparta to celebrate annual opening of Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — Sparta will celebrate the start of biking season May 1 as the three tunnels of the Elroy-Sparta Trail reopen for the year.

The Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 111 Milwaukee St., will host a variety of activities throughout the day, beginning with an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast that serves as a fundraiser for the Sparta Ambassadors.

“Being  America’s Bicycling Capital, we wanted to bring a new twist to an already established event.  We are excited to be starting something that hopefully will last for years to come.  We have quite a day planned that you don’t want to miss-from food to vendors, to a BMX stunt show-and of course, Ben Bikin’,”   said Heidi Prestwood, Executive Director of the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce.

Speed’s Bicycle Shop will have representatives there to provide a tune up and there will be a free shuttle service from Sparta to Norwalk at 9 a.m., followed by a bike ride back to Sparta. Registration for the shuttle is required.

There will be a ceremonial bike trail ribbon cutting at 1 p.m.

Vendors will be there, including 1UP, a bicycle rack company, Borah Teamwear, Specialized Epic Bikes, Outdoor Recreation Alliance, the Monroe County Nutrition Coalition with the Monroe County Dairy promotions and Dairy Breakfast will be making bike blender smoothies, ADRC, and the Farmer’s Market. Additional vendors are welcome, but must contact the Chamber office to reserve a spot.

There will be a collection of bikes on display throughout the day, as well as a BMX Show sponsored by Spartek and ORA.

Daily and seasonal trail passes are available for purchase at the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce during regular business hours and will be on May 1. Cyclists 16 and older are required to have a  state trail pass. A daily pass costs $5and a season’s pass costs $25.

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is the first rails to trails conversation in the United States. An estimated 60,000 people utilize the trail annually. Sparta is also the junction of the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the La Crosse River State Trail.