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Biking in Milwaukee: 15 Top Milwaukee Bike Trails

Guide to the best biking trails in Milwaukee and the surrounding area with all levels of difficulty

Milwaukee is heaven for adventure seekers; the largest city in Wisconsin offers a wide range of recreational spots, with many Milwaukee bike trails suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities.

With over 160 miles of bike lanes, Milwaukee is considered one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the USA for many good reasons.

With its growing network of bike lanes, trails, and routes, there are so many great spots for biking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Top Milwaukee bike trails, Two people with backpacks and outdoor clothes on bikes having a conversation whilst traveling through forest on a dirt path in bright sunlight in wisconsin

In this post, I will share some of the best biking trails in Milwaukee, including the difficulty level and additional tips to make the best of your adventurous day in the city.

So, let’s dive deep into the best bike trails Milwaukee, WI offers to enjoy on your next day out in the city.

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Overview: Top 5 Milwaukee Bike Trails

  • Oak Leaf River Trail
  • Seven Bridges Trail
  • Milwaukee Lakefront Trail
  • Muskego Recreation Trail
  • Menomonee River Bike Trail

1. Oak Leaf River Trail

Enjoy these Milwaukee bike paths, bike path winding through green grass and green trees off into the distance

Length: 135 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Oak Leaf River Trail is the largest trail for Milwaukee biking activities. It is a continuous loop connecting some of the best state parks in Wisconsin, including Lake Park and Havenwood State Forest.

The trail also connects to other Milwaukee County bike trails, including Hank Aaron State Trail and the Menomonee River Trail.

The Oak Leaf River Trail in Milwaukee has a flat terrain with some hilly city streets, making it one of the best Milwaukee bike trails from beginner to advanced levels.

This path is the main gateway to the Route of the Badger, the Southeast Wisconsin hiking trails that connect the counties with a lot of recreation and transportation benefits.

With well-maintained paved paths and longer bike routes, the Oak Leaf River Trail is considered one of the best bike paths Milwaukee has for beginners and advanced bikers alike.

With relatively flat terrain that spans around 135 miles in total, the Oak Leaf River Trail is one of the most popular areas to get on a scenic ride while exploring Milwaukee by bike.

The trail is also accessible by public transportation from the Milwaukee metro area, with several bus stops and train stations along the route.

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2. Hank Aaron State Trail

Length: 6.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Where to go biking in Milwaukee, Shot of large bridge over a river with the bright sun shining behind it on a mostly clear day

Hank Aaron State Trail runs from the Milwaukee lakefront to the western suburbs of the city.

The trail also offers some fun things to do in Milwaukee with kids, as it has various family-friendly attractions, such as the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Harley-Davidson Museum.

Considered an easy route for hiking trails in Wisconsin, Hank Aaron State Trail is also one of the easiest Milwaukee bike trails, with paved and flat terrains along the route.

Overall, it’s a relatively easy trail, although you should also be prepared for a few sections of the trail with moderate inclines, which can be pretty challenging for beginners.

The good news is that you can find several rest areas and benches to take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch or snack.

Hank Aaron State Trail also provides a great opportunity to learn more about Milwaukee’s history and natural environment, making it a great place to explore for visitors of all ages.

One of the must-visit spots for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, Hank Aaron State Trail is a great place for biking in Milwaukee.

With 15 miles of paved bike routes from the shores of Lake Michigan to the Milwaukee and Waukesha county line, you can easily spend the day biking this trail.

Approximately, it can take around 3 hours to finish the trail from one end to the other, during which you can enjoy views over some of the best lakes in Wisconsin.

Stop by Lakeshore State Park to enjoy the panoramic view of the city skyline to make the best of your trip around this trail!

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3. New Berlin Recreation Trail

Try out these bike paths in Milwaukee, long gravel bike path leading through a field of green grass on a bright sunny day under a wide blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Length: 7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

New Berlin Recreation Trail is located only two miles north of the Hank Aaron State Rail. You can enjoy many other facilities along the bike paths in Milwaukee.

Whether you want to explore the local shops and cafes between your rides or stop for a toilet break, it’s one of the most beginner-friendly Milwaukee bike trails!

The bike routes in New Berlin Recreation Trail are a great choice for cyclists of all levels in Milwaukee.

As the trail is paved and relatively flat, the trail is also suitable for beginners or families with children.

Unlike some bike trails Milwaukee County offers, New Berlin Recreation Trail also accommodates two-way traffic, which makes it an ideal place to ride a bike in Milwaukee, especially if you’re a beginner.

As you bike through the trail, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the local wildlife!

The New Berlin Recreation Trail is a 7-mile paved path, which makes it one of the best bike trails in Milwaukee, even for novice bikers.

The trail connects to several other biking trails in Milwaukee, including the Oak Leaf Trail and the Muskego Recreation Trail.

Start your biking adventure from the corner of South 124th Road in the eastern part of the Waukesha-Milwaukee country line.

From there, it’s relatively easy to follow the well-marked trail as it will direct you to the beautiful countryside where you can pass several charming communities and neighborhoods in Wisconsin.

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4. Muskego Recreation Trail

Escape onto these Milwaukee mountain bike trails, three people riding mountain bikes along a dirt bike path through lush green scenery under a bright blue sky

Length: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Muskego Recreation Trail is one of the best bike routes Milwaukee has to offer.

Starting from the residential community not too far from the Muskego County Park entrance, you can head west to enjoy a scenic bike ride passing around a dirt path of Big Bend for nearly half of the trail.

Unlike the previous Milwaukee bike trails, Muskego Recreation Trail is considered moderate in difficulty, as the trail is also suitable for mountain and hybrid bikes with a few short hills and curves.

Apart from bikers, the trail is also popular with hikers and equestrians.

While the trail is relatively easy for most parts, a few areas through Muskego Recreation Trail may be slightly more difficult to navigate.

A few road crossings require you to be more cautious due to heavy traffic. Some trail areas are also pretty narrow, which requires you to slow down and watch for other pedestrians.

The Muskego Recreation Trail is around 6 miles long in total, as it follows an abandoned railroad corridor that runs from North Cape Road on the southern end and heads north to Woods Road.

The trail will guarantee fun bike rides in Milwaukee, as you can pass through a mix of urban, suburban, and rural landscapes along the ride.

Approximately you can finish the trail in 2-3 hours in total, as the trail is mostly flat and well-maintained. However, it may take a while if you’re not used to cycling through hills in some parts of the trail.

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5. Beerline Trail

Discover some of the best Milwaukee county bike trails, long gravel bike path leading through a tunnel of green foliage and branches

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

If you’re looking for some shorter bike trails in Milwaukee County, Beerline Trail is a public recreational walk and bike path that is suitable for visitors of all ages.

The City of Milwaukee developed the Beerline Trail as a part of the revitalization projects in the area.

Currently, it serves as a popular recreational spot as the area is suitable for runners and cyclists in Milwaukee.

The trail is paved with mostly flat terrains, making it accessible to all types of visitors, and at only 4 miles long, it is also considered one of the easiest bike trails near Milwaukee.

The Beerline Trail is also one of the most disability-friendly Milwaukee bike trails, with so many outdoor activities to offer along the way.

It runs through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods, with a multi-use trail suitable for biking and walking.

Along the trail, you can find some public art installations and murals that make them worth a few stops during your Milwaukee bike rides.

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6. Milwaukee Lakefront Trail

best bike trails in Milwaukee, view of Milwaukee skyline lit up at night, just after sunset

Length: 6.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Biking through Lakefront Trail should be on the list of things to do in Milwaukee in October, as it’s the best time to explore the trail with relatively cooler temperatures.

It’s also a beautiful time to see the fall foliage in Wisconsin, which creates a stunning backdrop for your bike rides in Milwaukee.

The surface of the Milwaukee Lakefront Trail is generally smooth and paved, making it a relatively easy trail for biking or hiking in Milwaukee.

It also has some gentle hills around the South Shore Park Area, which could be quite challenging for beginner bikers.

The trail runs along the shore of Lake Michigan, which is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and is one of my favorite outdoor activities in Milwaukee.

It is one of the many reasons why the Lakefront Trail is considered one of the best Milwaukee bike trails, as you can get on a scenic ride through the best lake in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Lakefront Trail is approximately 6.5 miles long. Typically, it takes around 2-3 hours to complete the trail.

Running along the shore of Lake Michigan, the trail offers beautiful views of the lake and the city skyline for a scenic ride.

Along the trail, you can find some parks and other attractions to make the best of your day by exploring nature in Milwaukee!

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7. Seven Bridges Trail

Outdoor activities in Milwaukee, wooden bridge in the forest connecting the seven bridges hiking trail

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

The historic Seven Bridges Trail offers stunning views of the forest, ravines, and Lake Michigan, making it a great spot to visit for nature lovers.

The trail runs alongside a creek, and you’ll cross seven wooden bridges along the way, which makes it one of the unique things to do in Milwaukee!

The Seven Bridges Trail is a relatively easy bike trail in Milwaukee, as the trail is not too long with so many places to stop and rest along the way.

The trail is rated as easy to moderate in difficulty, as it’s mostly flat with a few rough spots and some hills along the trail.

The trail is a mix of paved and unpaved surfaces, but it’s well-maintained and in generally good condition.

The Seven Bridges Trail is also a great destination for families with children, as it offers a lot of opportunities for kids to explore the natural world for a fun and educational outing in Milwaukee.

The Seven Bridges Trail is one of the shortest bike trails in Milwaukee, WI. With only 2 miles in total, you can finish the trail shortly for around 1 to 2 hours.

As the trail is not very long compared to other Milwaukee bike trails, it’s a great place for a short getaway to enjoy the area’s natural beauty while biking in Milwaukee!

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8. Greenfield Park Trail

Explore Milwaukee by bike this summer, long neat bike path leading through a park with carefully manicured grass lawns and tall green trees

Length: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Greenfield Park Trail offers a short scenic ride suitable for cyclists at all levels and ages, and is a perfect option if you don’t have much time to stroll around for bike rides in Milwaukee.

Situated in one of the most popular parks in the western part of Milwaukee, Greenfield Park Trail is a perfect spot for running and biking in the city.

Greenfield Park Trail is considered quite an easy ride, even for beginners.

The bike path is all paved and mostly flat, so you won’t encounter any significant hills or steep inclines that may be challenging if you don’t get used to hilly bike paths in Milwaukee.

The trail is considered to be one of the shortest Milwaukee bike trails, with only around 1.5 miles in total.

You can complete the trail in around an hour, even less if you’re a more advanced biker that gets used to flat terrains.

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9. Wehr Nature Center Trails

Best bike trails Milwaukee has to offer, Close up shot of the back of someone's leg as they walk along a wooden path wearing low sneakers and three-quarter-length jeans

Length: 1 – 2.6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Located in the suburbs of Milwaukee County, Wehr Nature Center Trails offer several trails that vary in length and difficulty, making them accessible to hikers and bikers of all skill levels.

Along the trail, you can pass the pristine forests, prairies, and wetlands to make the best out of your Milwaukee mountain bike trails!

There are several bike trails around Wehr Nature Center that you can opt for depending on your hiking and biking skill level.

If you’re a beginner, you can stroll through the loop of its Family-Friendly trail to enjoy the diversity of Wehr’s natural resources.

Starting from the Amphitheater, the short trail will run through Mallard Lake, Woodland, and the Wetland.

For more advanced bikers, the Grassland Trail at Wehr Nature Center is more suitable as it features long slopes with gravel bike paths that are more challenging than other trails in the area.

Wehr Nature Center has over five miles of bike trails in Milwaukee. The area links several communities, including Woodland, Oak Savanna, Prairie, Wetland, and Lake.

While it’s a relatively huge trail to explore in a day, Wehr Nature Center is also split into several bike routes. The trail varies based on the distance and the level of biking difficulty.

You can choose the Lake Loop Trail at Wehr Nature Center for an easy ride with a more distanced biking trail in Milwaukee.

The 1.5-mile trail starts from Mallard Lake that will lead you through the base of the prairie.

Alternatively, you can take the Woodland Trail if you prefer Milwaukee bike trails with more curve terrains.

The 1-mile bike trail is a great spot for birdwatching, and it’s suitable for moderate to advanced bikers.

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10. Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse

where to find the best Milwaukee bike rides, Milwaukee Lighthouse and pier at sunset

Length: 1.5 – 3 miles (depending on starting point)

Difficulty: Easy

Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse is one of the iconic Instagram spots in Milwaukee, WI, and one of the best lighthouses of Wisconsin.

Located where Milwaukee Rivers flows into Lake Michigan, you can pass this lighthouse through some larger Milwaukee bike trails.

Alternatively, you can also start your bike rides in Milwaukee, starting from Milwaukee Arts Museum to the iconic lighthouse in Wisconsin.

While there’s always an option to take the longer biking trails Milwaukee offers, like the Oak Leaf Trail or Hank Aaron State Trail, you can also arrange biking from the Milwaukee Art Museum to the lighthouse for under 3 miles.

The ride is relatively flat and easy, and there is a designated bike path that runs along the lakefront, making it suitable for beginners.

With great views of the lake and the city along the way, this is one of the most popular Milwaukee bike paths for locals and tourists.

The distance between the Milwaukee Art Museum and the pierhead lighthouse is around 1.5 miles, so it won’t take more than 45 minutes to get from the start to the end of the trail.

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11. Hoyt Park Trail

where to find bike trails in Milwaukee. Quiet, empty dirt path leading through very lush green forest

Length: 3.2 miles of trails

Difficulty: Easy-Difficult

Designed for novice hikers and riders, the Hoyt Park Trail also has some challenging points compared to other Milwaukee bike trails.

It offers a scenic view with lush greenery as it winds through the Menomonee River, which guarantees a fun bike ride in Wisconsin!

The Hoyt Park Trail is well-maintained and mostly flat, although the park also offers a variety of bike paths in Milwaukee with different lengths and difficulties so you can choose the best suite route to your level of biking experience.

While you can focus on the bike trails around Hoyt Park itself, it is also an intersection of some largest trail systems, including the Oak Leaf Trail and Menomonee River Parkway Trail.

If you’re up to exploring some more, you can extend your ride and follow the larger trail to experience the best of Milwaukee!

Hoyt Park is a public park located in Wauwatosa, a city around 5 miles from downtown Milwaukee. The park covers an area of approximately 189 acres, with the total length of the trail around 3.2 miles.

Depending on the specific bike trail you choose around Hoyt Park, you can typically complete the trail within the park in around 3 or 4 hours.

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12. Jackson Park Loop

Have you found all the best bike trails in Milwaukee, bike path leading through a park with a park bench sitting under a weeping willow tree and other tall trees in the distance under a clear blue sky

Length: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Situated in the southern part of the city, Jackson Park Loop is a popular destination for biking in Milwaukee, WI.

The loop trail features a wide, paved trail that winds through the public park that offers scenic views of the green spaces, trees, and water features.

The Jackson Park Loop is open year-round, and it’s quite popular for several outdoor activities, from walking and biking to rollerblading.

The trail is relatively easy for bikers of all levels, as it’s located in a park setting, so you don’t have to deal with vehicular traffic compared to most Milwaukee bike trails.

The park also has self-guide signs and arrows to help bikers follow the trail easily.

The Jackson Park Loop is approximately around 2.5 miles long, and you can complete the trail loop in 1 or 2 hours.

While the trail is considered quite easy for novice bikers, be sure to follow trail etiquette and stay aware of your surroundings to prevent the unexpected.

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13. Menomonee River Bike Trail

best bike paths Milwaukee has to offer, milwaukee winter activities, winter festivals, christmas parties, snow walks, dinner

Length: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Menomonee River Trail is one of the most popular Milwaukee bike trails, most notably known for the Three Bridges Park where you can find the series of bridges that span around the river.

You can enjoy the river view surrounded by lush greenery around the trail, and it has so many beautiful spots for taking photos along the way.

The Menomonee River Bike Trail is generally easy compared to the larger ones like Hank Aaron State Trail or Oak Leaf Trail.

While the trail is mostly paved through wooded areas, you can also expect a few hills and rough terrains that are moderately challenging if you’re new to biking in Milwaukee.

Make sure to have appropriate gear and equipment, and bring enough water and snacks to enjoy a relaxing ride through Menomonee River.

The length of the Menomonee River Bike Trail is around 5.5 miles, and it interconnects with the larger Oak Leaf Trail so you can expand your bike rides if you choose to take these Milwaukee bike trails.

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14. Ice Age Trail

best hiking in southern wisconsin, segment of Ice Age Trail with yellow market on tree and a fallen branch

Length: over 1200 miles of trails

Difficulty: Easy – Difficult (depending on segment)

One of the longest Milwaukee bike trails, Ice Age Trail is a national scenic trail that runs for over 1,000 miles following the path of the last glacier that covered the state of Wisconsin.

There are several sections of the trail that are suitable for biking in Milwaukee, including Lapham Peak which is located around 25 miles from downtown Milwaukee.

Being one of the national scenic trails, the Ice Age Trail is intended to provide a challenging and rewarding outdoor experience compared to other Milwaukee bike trails.

You should be prepared for a range of conditions as the difficulty of bike trails may vary depending on which section you choose for biking in Milwaukee.

Some sections around the Ice Age Trail are relatively easy with gentle grades and well-maintained bike paths.

However, some other sections are considered more challenging, with steep climbs and rocky terrain along the trail.

The Ice Age Trail is more popular for hiking, but some portions of the trail are also open for biking.

The Lapham Peak is the most popular section for biking, with over 17 miles of Milwaukee mountain bike trails.

It covers several loops that wind through the scenic forest, which is suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Another option is the Greenbush Trail System, which is situated around 60 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

This network of trails offers 15 miles of single-track mountain bike trails in Wisconsin.

The latter is more suitable for more experienced bikers as it runs through the forested hills and valleys of the Kettle Moraine region.

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15. Dineen Park Loop

best activities in Milwaukee to do outdoors, older couple cycling away from camera on a work bike bath surrounded by trees, grass and purple flowers

Length: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Dineen Park Loop is a pleasant bike trail in Milwaukee, as it’s suitable for a leisurely ride and a quick workout since you can easily complete several laps around the park in a relatively short time.

The trail is fully paved and mostly flat, making it an easy ride even for beginners.

You can also find several benches and picnic tables along the trail to take a break and unwind between bike rides in Milwaukee.

A 1.8-mile Milwaukee bike trail is considered one of the easiest bike paths, which takes around 30 minutes to complete.

The paved trail loop around Dineen Park is accessible and disability-friendly, with a large green space.

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Milwaukee is an excellent destination for adventure seekers looking for outdoor activities, particularly biking.

With so many bike trails in Milwaukee, the city offers a diverse range of biking experiences suitable for bikers of all skill levels.

So, grab your bikes, and choose the best Milwaukee bike trails to explore the next time you visit Wisconsin!

Short FAQs About Milwaukee Bike Trails

Is Milwaukee good for biking?

Yes, in fact, Milwaukee is considered one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the USA! There are many Milwaukee bike trails within the city and the surrounding area.

What is the longest bike trail in Milwaukee?

Oak Leaf River Trail is the longest trail just within Milwaukee at 135 miles. However, the Ice Age Trail, which partially runs around Milwaukee is around 1200 miles and is the longest trail in Wisconsin.

Can you bike the Milwaukee Riverwalk?

Yes, it is possible to bike along the Milwaukee Riverwalk Trail. However, this trail is much more suited to pedestrians. For an easy coastal bike ride, try the Milwaukee Lakefront Trail or Hank Aaron State Trail, instead.

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