Wisconsin Bicycle Routes
Milwaukee to Elkhorn
Much of this route follows bicycle trails: the recently expanded and renamed "Seven Waters Trail" in Racine County from the county line to Burlington and the White River Trail in Walworth county from Burlington to Elkhorn. There are a number of possible routes from downtown Milwaukee to the start of the Seven Waters Trail, none of which is the obvious choice.
Milwaukee to the Seven Waters Trail
Three possible routes from the Milwaukee Art Museum to the Seven Waters Trail in Racine county are described here: a route on city streets, the southern Oak Leaf Trail, and the Oak Leaf Trail from the North.
City Streets Route
There are many possible routes on city streets, none obviously better than the rest. This route mostly avoids the heavily trafficked roads in the southwest corner of Milwaukee county.
From the art museum, follow the Oak Leaf Trail south onto Second Street (see our Milwaukee-Chicago route for a description). Turn west on Greenfield and follow marked bike routes as follows:
Southern Oak Leaf Trail
From the art museum, go south on the Oak Leaf Trail (map) and then west as it follows Drexel Ave. Shortly before 68th St take the bicycle trail that goes south to the Milwaukee County Sports Complex.
Oak Leaf from the North
From the art museum to Greenfield Park this route follows that described in the Winona-Milwaukee route (in reverse). From Greenfield Park continue south on the Oak Leaf Trail. At Morgan, continue south on 116th St rather than the bike trail. (Alternatively one can follow the Oak Leaf Trail to Grange and the first route shown above.) The route continues as follows:
Seven Waters Trail (with Muskego Trail)
Starting at the Milwaukee-Waukesha county line (the intersection of highways 45 and 36), the southern section of the Muskego Trail parallels Highway. (Mark Hintz has created a very good map of these routes and of the Seven Waters Trail). When the trail crosses into Racine county, it is called the Seven Waters Trail. Most of the trail surface is compacted limestone, although the new connecting section through Waterford and Rochester is paved.
There are several alternative routes on roads in the area. At the intersection of Highway 45 and Loomis Dr turn southwest on Loomis Dr. At 3-way intersection where all three roads are called "Loomis Dr" take left fork (going north, take right fork). Follow Loomis Drive (the old road) to Wind Lake and intersection with the Seven Waters Trail. Cross highway 36 (this is also an on-road section of the Seven Waters Trail).
Where the trail follows Loomis Rd in Wind Lake, stay on the road into Waterford (Rustic Road No. 5). Cross the Fox River and continue south on Cty W through Rochester, to Burlington.
A longer, but scenic route follows the (poorly) marked Racine county bike route:
Follow route 36 (Milwaukee Ave. and State St.) through Burlington.
Burlington to Elkhorn
Leaving Burlington, at the Racine-Walworth county line, turn south on Spring Valley Rd, and then west on the new White River Trail. The trail has a crushed limestone surface which is generally good, but soft in spots. The Department of Natural Resources has posted a trail web site and map, which has not yet been updated, however, to reflect the completion of the trail between Lyons and Spring Valley Rd. A good place to stop for lunch or a snack is Lyons. The trail ends at Cty H in Elkhorn. Cross H onto the short unpaved trail to Proctor Drive. Go right on McKenzie Dr, then left on Centralia, and right on Jackson St. into Elkhorn.
Here is a scenic alternative route on roads (including several rustic roads):
West of Elkhorn