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Elroy-Sparta Weekend

  • Jun 30, 2012 · 9:00 AM
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Join us for a fun weekend outing, Saturday, June 30th and Sunday, July 1st, 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.

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. The cost is $110 per room, which covers both Friday and Saturday night.  Two of these rooms have 2 double beds. - 3/25/12: All of the rooms at the Mid-Trail Motel have already been reserved for our group.  I highly recommend the Sugar Maple Inn for those who wish a nearby motel.
  • 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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  • Lee R

    This was an awesome weekend with great weather and friendly, helpful people to share it with! Thanks everyone!

    July 3, 2012

  • Ron

    What a fun weekend! I enjoyed spending time with everyone. Thanks to everyone for coming out!

    July 2, 2012

  • Helene

    It was a great weekend, spent with good people.

    July 1, 2012

  • Matt V.

    Did the trail ride. It was amazing !!

    July 1, 2012

  • Lauren

    A very nice ride. I hope we get to do this again next year.

    July 1, 2012

  • Jim

    Great ride leaders, great riders, great rides, great food, great hills. Thanks Ron!

    July 1, 2012

  • Jim

    Will be doing the 3 road rides.

    June 22, 2012

  • Ron

    Ric, you are correct. I had to submit the listings to BFW back in January. It wasn't until later (maybe February?) that a situation arose causing me to have to switch the planned weekends for the Elroy-Sparta Weekend and Trempealeau Weekend.

    June 15, 2012

  • Darria M.

    Jim. Thanks! I would love to share the campsite if there are trees. I am still deciding if I'll do the trail ride or try for the road ride. You know me, I can hang the Hennesy hammock nearly anywhere. ;)

    June 11, 2012

  • Teresa

    Hi Everyone! I look forward to seeing the Friday group!

    May 25, 2012

  • Ron

    Mid-Trail Motel rooms held for: Helene-Paid (double), Cathy-Paid (single w/rollaway); Lauren (double), Ron (single)

    April 13, 2012

  • Tracey

    I'm in. I look forward to my first ride with this group. I'm going to plunk down at the campground. I'll be there for the Friday ride - I'll be taking the Road Bike Course. Please come and introduce yourself.

    February 12, 2012

  • Bob W

    It's a ways out but I am looking forward to this. I have a small motor home . If I can get a spot at the campground fine, otherwise I'm good at just parking wherever. I don't need to plug it in or anything.

    February 12, 2012

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