Elroy-Sparta Weekend

  • June 21, 2014 · 9:00 AM
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Join us for a fun weekend outing, Saturday, June 21st and Sunday, June 22nd, in Wilton, at the midpoint of the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

There will be something for everyone this weekend, with both trail rides and road rides.

Each day, we will have a group breakfast, then head out for a bike ride. Afternoon activities are on your own. Consider swimming in the pool, hanging out at the campground, going for ice cream or relaxing at your motel. Each evening, we will have a group dinner.

Click on the years for photos from previous rides. (2008 (Trail), 2008 (Road), 2009 (Trail), 2009 (Road), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

 

Trail Rides

The Elroy-Sparta Trail is America's first Rails-to-Trails conversion, known for its 3 tunnels. This is a very flat trail, with very gradual grades leading up to each of the tunnels. The trail has a very hard packed crushed limestone and clay surface. A trail bike is preferred, but a road bike could also be used. You'll need to have a headlight for your bicycle or bring a flashlight to make your way through the tunnels.

Saturday: Sparta (45 miles)
Saturday's ride goes to the west end of the trail, passing through 2 tunnels, to the town of Sparta. One tunnel is a 1/4 mile long while the other is 3/8 of a mile in length. We'll stop for lunch in Sparta, proclaimed to be the Bicycling Capital of America, and visit with Ben Biken, atop the World's Largest Bicycle.

Sunday: Elroy (35 miles)
Sunday's ride goes to the east end of the trail, to the town of Elroy, passing through a 1/4 mile tunnel along the way. We'll stop for lunch in Elroy.

Road Rides

Three unique and very challenging road rides are planned for the weekend. You'll want to bring a bicycle with low gearing, preferably one with a triple chainring, as each day's ride has several extremely challenging hills. (Click HERE for elevation profiles.) All rides include a lunch stop and several other rest stops along the way.

Friday: Amish Farmhouse Bakery (50 miles)
For those who wish to arrive early for the weekend, Friday afternoon's ride features a stop at an Amish farmhouse bakery, where they will have a wide assortment of fresh, homemade goodies available, all at very reasonable prices.

Saturday: Over The Tunnels (70 miles)
Saturday's ride takes us through the Amish countryside and on the roads that go OVER all 3 of the tunnels of the Elroy-Sparta trail.

Sunday: Ben Biken (50 miles)
Sunday's ride includes a visit with Ben Biken, atop the World's Largest Bicycle, in the town of Sparta, WI, proclaimed to be the Bicycling Capital of America.


Wilton Accommodations and Reservations
Suggested accommodations include:

  • Mid-Trail Motel - Located in Wilton. Ron has reserved all 4 rooms at this motel.  Contact Ron if you wish to reserve one of these rooms.  Do NOT contact the motel.  The cost is $120 per room, which covers both Friday and Saturday night.  Two of these rooms have 2 double beds.
  • Sugar Maple Inn (formerly Country Livin' Motel) - Located in the neighboring town of Kendall, along the Elroy-Sparta Trail. [masked]
  • Village of Wilton Campground - Located in Wilton at the Wilton Village Park. [masked]  Reservations not required.

There are also several B&B's in the area surrounding Wilton and many motel options in the nearby towns of Sparta and Tomah.

Contact Ron if you wish to reserve a motel room at the Mid-Trail Motel.  Otherwise, please make your own motel, B&B or camping reservation to suit your needs.

On Friday, plan to arrive by 12:30 PM. We will push-off promptly at 1:00 PM.

On Saturday and Sunday, plan to arrive by 9:00 AM. We will push-off promptly at 9:30 AM.

An email will be sent to everyone who RSVPs with the specific plans for each day.

Trail Pass Information

Note: A Wisconsin state trail pass is required to ride on the Elroy-Sparta Trail. There are many places in Wilton where you may purchase a trail pass if needed.

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  • James D.

    It was a great weekend! Three days of biking bliss! I enjoyed the company as much as the biking, they are all such nice folks. I'm looking forward to attending more of the events.

    1 · June 22, 2014

  • Mactire Aonair M.

    On my way. Riding in on trail from Reedsburg.

    June 21, 2014

    • Mactire Aonair M.

      Sorry, I didn't catch up with you today. I had a slight blood glucose incident on the trail today. Had to take some med, rested about an hour, continued to Wilton. Still didn't feel right so struggled back to Reedsburg.

      June 21, 2014

    • Mactire Aonair M.

      Will not be riding today

      June 22, 2014

  • Michelle G.

    Hello- I have been sick with the flu since yesterday, so I won't make it tomorrow as I had planned. So sorry to miss it!

    June 21, 2014

  • Linda K.

    Sorry I can't make it - I was looking forward to riding with all of you. Catch you another time. Happy Trails!

    June 21, 2014

  • Jo S.

    Found this Ron..... thanks!

    June 20, 2014

  • Linda K.

    Hey Ron, got your email with instructions for the weekend! Thank you! I'm going to try to make breakfast on Saturday morning.

    June 19, 2014

  • Helene

    I just found out that I need to be out of town for work and need to cancel this trip. I have one of the double rooms reserved. Only $110 for two nights. Is anyone interested in taking my room. I haven't paid Ron yet. Helene

    June 16, 2014

    • James D.

      I will take your room Helene, just send me the details ok.

      June 17, 2014

    • Helene

      Sorry for my delay in getting back to this site. Looks like Dennis contacted me first so Dennis gets the room unless Dennis and James work something out.

      June 18, 2014

  • James D.

    Hi Ron, I will take Helene's room. Do I pay you?

    June 17, 2014

    • Ron

      I believe someone else already took it. Please check with Helene.

      June 17, 2014

  • Jeanette

    sorry won"t make this time...hope to see you all again soon. Have fun and be safe

    June 16, 2014

  • Denise R.

    I injured my knee and will not be able to make it. Hope to join you in the future.

    June 15, 2014

  • Mactire Aonair M.

    I plan on coming up for Friday's road ride as well this year

    May 28, 2014

    • Mactire Aonair M.

      Ron, if I come up Friday for the road ride meet same place as weekend trail rides?

      June 15, 2014

    • Ron

      Wednesday's email will have all the details. We will meet in Wilton.

      June 15, 2014

  • Linda K.

    Ron and Lauren - thanks for the feed back! I don't have low gears for hills, and even though I don't mind tackling them and walking if necessary, I might opt for the trail with packed limestone. Guess we will decide when I get there!

    1 · June 15, 2014

  • Steve L.

    Anyone know when to expect the email with specific plans for each day?

    June 15, 2014

    • Ron

      Wednesday evening, after the RSVPs are closed.

      June 15, 2014

  • Linda K.

    Hmmm - maybe this is not for me - I only have road bikes and sometimes the packed gravel trails are a pain to ride.

    June 13, 2014

    • Lauren

      The trail is packed limestone. I use a road bike without any problems.

      1 · June 14, 2014

    • Ron

      I've used a road bike on the Elroy-Sparta trail as well. It's not as smooth as pavement, but it's pretty good. Please note: For the road rides, you will need very low gears or be prepared to walk a few hills. For the trail rides, you will need a bike light or flashlight (or walk through the tunnels with someone who has a light). The road and trail options are VERY different experiences.

      1 · June 14, 2014

  • Linda K.

    Ok - seems like you offer trail or road? I might try my new membership out with a Saturday ride only.

    June 13, 2014

  • Michelle G.

    Hi! I am new to this group and am wondering if it is okay to come for just one of the days?

    June 3, 2014

    • Ron

      Michelle, Great! We look forward to seeing both of you on Sunday of that weekend.

      June 10, 2014

    • Michelle G.

      We just meet at the trail head,correct?

      June 11, 2014

  • Paul S.

    Family in Michigan trip came up on the same weekend. I will have to go next time! I so wanted to be there to knock this one of my list!!

    May 27, 2014

  • Steve L.

    I plan on camping at the Village of Wilton campground.

    May 19, 2014

  • Gary

    I will camp. But right now I don't know where.

    May 13, 2014

  • Paul S.

    Anyone intend to go camping or go to another hotel??

    May 13, 2014

  • Ron

    Update (4/11/14): All 4 rooms at the Mid-Trail Motel have been reserved by our members. (Helene, Norm, Lauren, Ron) I recommend either the Sugar Maple Inn (motel) or Village of Wilton Campground (camping).

    1 · April 11, 2014

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