Mountain biking is an exhilarating sport that can be enjoyed by anyone willing to give it a try. As long as you’re determined and don’t mind getting a little dirty, you can learn to love mountain biking in no time. If you’re new to the world of mountain bikes or just new to the hills and valleys of Wisconsin, there are still plenty of trails perfect for you.
Located close to the North-Central part of the US mainland, Wisconsin is among the best places in America for mountain biking. You’ll find scenic rides that challenge beginners and mountain bike trails with tough terrain for experts. It has the perfect terrain for those looking for easy rides to those looking for more challenging ones.
If you’re thinking about taking up the sport but aren’t sure where to begin, we’re here to help you get started.
Top 10 Best Beginner Mountain Biking Trails in Wisconsin to Try This Winter!
Wisconsin has numerous human powered trails that will make bike riding interesting to riders of all skill levels, but these ten are among the best beginner bike trails in the state.
1. Copper Falls State Trail
The Copper Falls State Trail is a beautiful nature trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, northern Wisconsin. It comprises 20 miles of single-track trail and converted railroad track. The trail is fairly flat terrain, making it easier for beginners to navigate.
The Nicolet Roche trail is open year-round, and while the majority of it stays clear and dry, riders should be prepared with the right gear no matter the season. There are several parking options along the trail, but riders are advised to check the trail’s website before heading out.
Within Copper Falls State Park, you’ll also find the North Country Scenic and Doughboy’s Loop trail near Mellen. It features a waterfall, wooded sections, and hiking trails for the more adventurous hiker.
Copper Falls State Trail is the perfect place to start your mountain biking journey. It’s accessible to riders of all skill levels and inspires a lifelong love for the mountain biking sport.
2. Camba Trail System Trails
The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association, or CAMBA, has expanded over the years to include 28 trails and over 300 miles of riding. It’s one of Wisconsin’s top mountain biking areas, largely within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The original CAMBA system trails are designed for beginners and intermediates. But the new singletrack trails are a tempting challenge for advanced riders. One of the hardest is the Telemark Terrain Park trail, which requires more skill and talent.
The Telemark Park trail is also lined by trees the whole way, meaning extra caution is needed when dodging rocks, roots and branches that might get in your way. Downhill bike riders will be zipping through tight turns with narrow passages between trees.
3. Lake Geneva Biking Trails
Imagine zipping over the forest canopy, riding a mountain bike along winding singletrack trails, and feeling the fresh, cool breeze on your face. Lake Geneva Canopy Tours in Wisconsin allows you to experience all this and more.
The Lake Geneva zipline tours feature six platforms with great views from 200 meters up in the air. Popular mountain biking trails here wind through forests and are ideal for beginner, intermediate and expert levels.
4. John Muir and Emma Carlin Trails
These are two top mountain bike trails in southeastern Wisconsin. The larger of the two, John Muir, is 27-plus miles of one-way trails that are anyone’s mix-and-match ability level. John Muir Trail in Muir Woods Park features red and white loops with gentle, smooth slopes.
The blue, orange and green loops are much more difficult, with steep climbs and tricky sections. All the loops are one-way, enhancing riders’ safety and making it seem like fewer cyclists to crowd the trails. In addition to great rides, the Muir trails offer amenities like water fountains, flush toilets, and an indoor shelter.
Though not as popular or used as John Muir, the Emma Carlin Trail is an interesting trail that could offer an epic ride to mountain bikers of all kinds. It offers lengths of three loops, all featuring difficult singletrack sections and rocky, rooted trail surfaces on the slopes.
5. Lowe’s Creek Eau Claire
Lowes Creek County Park in Eau Claire provides some of the best trails for beginner mountain bikers looking to try something new. Located 1.5 miles south of the City of Eau Claire and off South Lowes Creek Road, the trail is around 10 miles long and crosses creeks along the way. The ride is fairly easy, so it’s perfect for those who want to take in the scenery of Lowes Creek.
But within the city limits, the singletrack trails offer quick climbs and fast sections. They wind through pine trees and cross creek beds, allowing the riders to work their way to all four corners of the park.
All the trails at Lowes Creek are open to people of all ages and abilities. There’s something for every rider, regardless of the weather or season. You can run, walk or mountain bike while enjoying scenery like the trout stream and old-growth forests.
6. Nine Mile, Wausau, WI
The Nine Mile Trail is 32 miles long and offers a little bit of everything: There are a lot of twists, turns, and hills that interfere with the flow. However, it’s a fairly intermediate trail that suits beginners with limited skill levels. You only need to look out for the rocks, stumps and roots in the forest!
Overall, the Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area has 13.45 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails and 20 miles of cross-country trails. To access these, a Trail Pass is required. Passes are available at either the parking lot kiosk or your local Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department Office.
7. Brundage Mountain Bike Trails
Brundage Mountain, located in Wisconsin Dells, offers beginner and advanced-level trails for mountain bikers of all skill levels. Three beginner trails, namely Blue Gully, Central Gully, and Yellow Gully, are available for novice riders seeking an easy ride through the park.
All these are flow trails designed to be fun and easy for any rider. Brundage Mountain also offers a skills park for riders looking to improve their skills. The park is free to use and has various features and obstacles designed to teach riders new skills and improve their riding.
Brundage Mountain offers everything you need to start your mountain biking journey. The trails are beginner-friendly and provide an excellent opportunity to improve your riding skills. Daily shuttles are available, and the mountain also offers gear rentals, a full-service bike shop, and a café.
8. Blue Mounds State Park Trails
Blue Mound State Park, located in Blue Mound, Wisconsin, offers a variety of trails for hikers and mountain bikers. Most of the trails here are beginner-friendly. The two common trails are the East and North Ridge. The East Ridge Trail is a 12.5-mile trail mix of singletrack and double-track, while the North Ridge Trail is a 6-mile trail mix of singletrack and double-tracks.
While there are a couple of trails for more experienced riders, the State Park is primarily designed for beginners. The Park Ridge Trail is a 3-mile trail that is almost entirely singletrack. Blue Mound State Park is great for starting your mountain biking journey. The trails aren’t overly challenging but great for riders of all skill levels.
9. Loafer’s Hollow Trail
Loafer’s Hollow Trail is located just outside Beloit, Wisconsin, in Loafer’s Hollow State Park. As the name suggests, this trail is a singletrack trail of about 5 miles. Loafer’s Hollow Trail is beginner-friendly, with a wide, easy-to-follow trail open year-round.
It’s a great choice for beginner riders looking for a place to start. The trail is wide and open, making it easy to navigate and giving riders plenty of room to experiment with their riding skills. Riders should be prepared for some climbs and a few creek crossings. But with the right gear, Loafer’s Hollow Trail is a great place to start your mountain biking journey.
10. Namakagon Cluster Trails
To get started on this great trail, head to the Namakagon Town Hall Trailhead at 26684 Upper Twin Lake Rd. in Cumberland, WI 54521. This trail can be a little technical for some riders, but the fast-paced challenges are still doable for beginners. It will have you buzzing in your element as you dare to go crazy on rolling hills and fly down slopes with reckless abandon.
Mountain biking is an incredibly fun and challenging sport. It’s fun and exciting, yet nerve-wracking all at the same time. However, you don’t have to be an expert biker to get on the Wisconsin trails. If you’re new to the world of mountain biking or just new to the hills and valleys of Wisconsin, there are still plenty of trails perfect for you. You can learn to love mountain biking from the above-shared biking trails with the right determination.