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Just keep pedaling
Winter in the Midwest often requires an amount of resourcefulness in being active outdoors, and these five fat biking trails grant just that.


January 2016

Fat biking — biking in the snow or sand — has grown in popularity over the past few years as cycling awareness as a whole has grown, stemming from the cost effectiveness and the exercise that biking provides. For true Wisconsinites who have become accustomed to the acute weather winter brings, fat biking is a gratifying expedition through the snow. These various trails throughout Wisconsin provide that and more by keeping well-maintained routes for bikers.

Lapham Peak

Friends of Lapham Peak was founded in 1989 as a nonprofit group and manages 17 miles of loops with varying degrees of difficulty. The trails are color-coded, ranging from 2 to 7 miles, and as the length of the trails increase, so does the difficulty.

Lapham Peak also holds a fat bike race series in Delafield in partnership with Wheel & Sprocket. The bike shop sells fat bikes manufactured by Trek and Badger Cycle Works, which are priced from $1,000 to $3,000. More information on the Lapham Peak Fat Bike Race Series can be found on the series’ Facebook page, W329 N846 County Road C, Delafield, (262) 646-3025 or

Southern Kettle Moraine

The two main fat biking trails featured at Southern Kettle Moraine are the Emma Carlin and John Muir trail systems. The Emma Carlin is the more difficult trail, weaving through a hardwood forest with a hilly terrain, while the John Muir implements rough natural surface trails. Nearby Backyard Bikes and Skis furnishes fat bikes for rental. S91 W39091 Highway 59, Eagle, (262) 594-6200 or

Grant Park

The Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park highlights its natural habitat, with unpaved paths surrounded by tremendous trees. The trail’s history dates back to the early 1900s, when Frederick C. Wulff, the first superintendent of horticulture for the park system, developed its first paths. Reconstruction of damaged sections has been underway over the last few years. 100 Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee, (414) 257-7275 or

Tosa Trails

Metro Mountain Bikers is the Milwaukee chapter of the International Mountain Bikes Association (IMBA), and the group is dedicated to promoting and protecting environmentally responsible mountain bike opportunities throughout the area. The Oak Hill Trail, which wraps along the Menomonee River, is a popular option, suitable for intermediate to advanced bikers. 4000 N. Menomonee River Pkwy., Wauwatosa,

Oak Leaf Trail

The Oak Leaf Trail is a 118-mile, multiuse trail that encircles Milwaukee County through the connection of various major parks. This trail is consistently rated one of the best urban bike trails because of the beauty of remote trail segments and the accessibility the trail presents. The highly favored access point is at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee County, (414) 257-7275 or




This story ran in the January 2016 issue of: