Author Topic: Duluth MN to Madison WI  (Read 2533 times)

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Offline bikenorth

Duluth MN to Madison WI
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:13:33 pm »
I am planning on riding from Duluth  to Madison. I have the Wisconsin DOT bike maps. Looks like I will have to piece together a route mostly on back country roads. Has anyone done part or all of this route and be willing to share any route information they may have?

Thank you in advance.


Offline jaypee

Re: Duluth MN to Madison WI
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 11:55:33 am »
If you're not averse to riding on trails, I'd try to link together as many of those as possible.  The Gandy Dancer Trail between Danbury and St. Croix Falls is pleasant, though the stretch between Danbury and Superior is sandy and more of an ATV trail though it's listed as bikeable on various web pages.  Figure out a way to get from St. Croix Falls to Menomonie, WI and you'll be able to take the Red Cedar and Chippewa River trails to Durand, WI.  From Durand, I typically take County Road P to County Road N South to Pepin, WI.  Highway 35 has a wide shoulder and will take you along the Mississippi to Onalaska, WI where you can take the Lacrosse River/Elroy-Sparta trail to Reedsburg.  From there finding some quiet roads South to Madison should be fairly easy.

I can try to figure out my old route between St. Croix Falls and Menomonie and let you know if you're interested.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Duluth MN to Madison WI
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 11:56:56 pm »
I've biked between Duluth and Madison, though in separate stages over the span of several years.

Getting out of Duluth, a great way is the Munger Trail, a rail trail that's about 70 miles long. It heads southward to Hinkley:

From there, you can ride on 61 south to North Branch, and pick up another trail, the Sunrise Prairie, which parallels 61 south for about 17 miles to Forest Lake:

At this point, you are in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs. You can bypass the Twin Cities and hook up with the Northern Tier which will bring you south through the Mississippi Valley, or take WI 35 down to Marshland and hook up with the Great River Trail. This is the start of a series of four interconnected trails totaling 100 miles in length, and includes the La Crosse River,  Elroy-Sparta (the Grandaddy of all rail-trails0, and the 400. 

This will bring you to Reesburg, WI, which is about another day of riding to Madison on back roads. I don't exactly remember the routing from there (and probably didn't take the best route) so I'll let someone else follow up.

Offline bikenorth

Re: Duluth MN to Madison WI
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 09:28:50 pm »
Thank you both for the ideas. Some good stuff to think about. I had been thinking I would travel mostly the back roads of Wisconsin and try to hit as many trails as possible when I got closer to Madison. I had not really considered going south in Minnesota on the trails first, then heading east.