Sunday, May 27, 2012

Biking Wisconsin's Burlington- Waterford-Norway Trail

This trail is composed of three segments developed by the local communities of Burlington, Waterford-Wind Lake, and Norway, which were then combined under the name and auspices of Racine County Bikepath. I parked at Richard Meyer Park in Norway and biked the four miles north to the end of the Norway segment, and the description and photos that follow proceed from north to south.

Meyer Park is reached by taking Milwaukee (Route 36) to Route 164 (west), then right turn onto S. Loomis to the park.  Park by the baseball field and bike the path around the outfield fence to find the access to the trail.

The trail is distinctly seen on Google Maps, on which they refer to the trail by its town names and also as Seven Waters Trail, apparently its previous name.  Here's a map under the old name.

And here's a photo of the trail map posted often along the trail by the county (click to enlarge)...

If you want to park on the north end, the Wind Lake Public Access lot is on the south side of Route 36/Milwaukee Avenue about a half-mile before Muskego Dam Road.

The Norway segment is only a few miles in length, and the gravel trail ends at the electric substation at Loomis and 36.  TakeLoomis right across Route 36 at the traffic light and follow South Loomis as it turns left and goes for about a mile. At one point you'll get a look at Waubeesee Lake on your right.

Watch for the traditional green "Bike Route" signs with arrows pointing the route to make your way south to the next trail segment at South Wind Lake Road where you turn left back towards Milwaukee Avenue. Now the trail  parallels Route 36 but mostly with a dense treeline between you and the road as seen below.  Though you can't see the traffic, you will still hear it.  You are now on the Waterford-Wind Lake section, and you will see a trail going off to the right to Meyer Park where I had parked.

At Waterford you veer from the road and traverse a residential area and the outskirts of the town, not realizing the Fox River is but a short distance to your west.  

When you reach Beck Road (83/20) and you'll be by The Bunker, a biker bar with military weaponry in the yard (tank, jet, helicopter, etc.)  Check it out, and then you'll jog on June Lane/Buck Road briefly before hitting the three mile paved section of trail which takes you over a small tributary of the Fox River on this bridge...

...onto the nicest section of the trail as you enter the large Case Eagle Park which offers air-conditioned washroom facilities, ballfields, basketball courts, playground, and lots of green lawn. You'll be riding the park roads briefly, so watch for the green Bike Trail signs for the turns to where the trail resumes, which then takes you across the picturesque Fox River seen below...

The paved trail continues up a lovely forested hill and deposits you briefly on North Browns Lake Drive.  Turn left, pedal a quarter mile, and then you'll turn left back into the forest, but this time on a gravel trail.  You'll pedal down and around and through the lovely Saller Woods, and when you reach Milwaukee Avenue you'll be in a small parking lot and will see a plaque explaining that the Sallers donated these woods to Racine County in 1996 in memory of their son, Frank.

The trail then crosses the 4-lane Milwaukee and runs south on the other side, crosses Browns Lake Drive,  continues along Milwaukee Avenue until ending in Burlington's Riverside Park which offers washrooms, picnic pavilions, and parking.

The total mileage is more than published at close to 30 miles round trip.


Paula Joy Welter said...

Really nice meanderings shared! I hope to bicycle tour in Wisconsin and/or do some day-riding, at least. I would be based in either Shawano or La Crosse, with relatives. If you've done any trails in either area, I'd love to hear about them!

Paula Joy

Fuzzy said...

Seven Waters Trail is supposedly the new name for the trail(s). There is another short extension of the trail through Riverside Park to Bushnell Park, where the White River State Trail heads east to near Kansasville. The western section of the WRST can be reached via city streets branching off the Seven Waters just before crossing the Fox River into Bushnell Park.