Whatever type of biking you enjoy, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve has something to offer. The unsurpassed beauty to be found in this part of southwestern Wisconsin will surprise you with every bend in the road. Whether you choose to stick to the pavement or want to challenge yourself on grueling primitive mountain bike trails, this area can accommodate you.
There are over 25 miles of paved roads in and around the Reserve with a number of connecting roads that expand the network to over 100 miles in the immediate vicinity.
State Highway 131 north of Rockton is one of the most lovely stretches of highway in all of Wisconsin. Your route will cross the Kickapoo River at least five times in a five-mile stretch. Highway 131 intersects County Highway F where the Reserve shares a boundary with Wildcat Mountain State Park. For an extra challenging loop, travel County F east to State Highway 33 north to fully appreciate the term "Mountain" in the Parkís name. State Highways 131 and 33 enter the town of Ontario, a bustling community that serves as the favorite point of departure for canoeists spending the day on the River.
There are a number of amenities available to the day tripper or overnight visitor to the area. Shops, restaurants, motels, cabins, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, and conveniences can be found in La Farge, Ontario, and surrounding communities.
Although traffic is light on the area roads, please remember the combination of curves, hills, and sightseeing requires drivers and cyclists to be extra cautious.
Wisconin Department of Transportation provides county maps showing road conditions for bicycling. Vernon County-East (pdf, 3 MB) and Vernon County-West (pdf, 3 MB) cover the Kickapoo Valley Reserve areas.
There are approximately 24 miles of designated bike trails on the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Trails are open May 1, through November 15, depending on the weather. Visitor permits are available through the Reserve office or self-registration stations through the property.
Used as a portion of the state snowmobile trail in the winter, the bike trail runs the entire length of the Reserve. Although not a single track trail, the mountain bike trail presents many of the challenges that serious off-road bikers find appealing. Youíll encounter steep uphill climbs, hairpin turns, and rapid descents as you travel through hardwood forests and open meadows with breathtaking overlooks along the way.
The use of mountain bikes allows the more adventurous set to access the remote areas on the Reserve seldom visited by others. However, there are places where the bike trail runs concurrent with equestrian trails; and hikers may be encountered at any point on the system.
Off-road bike trails are constantly undergoing evaluation. Please follow these precautions:
- The trail season runs from May 1 to November 15 in the Reserve.
- All visitors are required to obtain a Visitorís Permit for the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.
- All trail riders must stay on the designated trails.
- Trails are subject to closure due to wet conditions. Call ahead about current conditions - (608) 625-2960.
- Remember that the terrain is challenging, so plan your route accordingly to avoid overworking yourself.
- Highways and roads run in and along the Reserve. Be cautious and courteous. Maintain a single file line and watch for oncoming traffic.
- Pack it in; pack it out! Leaving litter or trash in or around the Reserve is unacceptable.
Please contact the Reserve office if you have any questions or comments.