Rails To Trails

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The Elroy-Sparta bike trail remains one of the most popular trails in the country.  With three rock tunnels and five small towns along it’s 32.5 mile route, the trail is a favorite Wisconsin bicycling destination.


The 32 mile railroad grade which stretches across the watersheds of three rivers, the Baraboo, Kickapoo, and La Crosse, was formerly owned by the Northwestern Railroad. Just one year after the last train used the railroad line from Sparta to Elroy, the old Conservation Department purchased the right-of-way for $12,000 and began the development of the nations first railroad trail.  From this simple beginning, the Elroy-Sparta State Park Trail has grown into a nationally famous bikeway whose annual visitor attendance averages over 60,000 patrons a year.

Trail Pass Information:

Trail passes are required for all riders ages 16 and older. Daily passes are $5 and annual passes are $25.  See below for a complete list of all locations that sell trail passes. Please note that not all locations may have passes. Call ahead.


Hansen’s IGA – 1800 Commercial St., 608-486-2626

Cardinal’s Nest – 608-799-5604, (Amber Lor), 1710 Commercial St.


71 Express, Kate Schaitel, 18607 State Highway 71, Norwalk, WI

La Crosse

La Crosse Convention & Visitors Bureau – 410 Veterans Memorial Drive, 608-782-2327 (Janet – Dahl@explorelacrosse.com)

Smith Bikes – 125 7th St. North, 608-784-1175, Erik@smithsbikes.com

Walsh Golf Center – 4203 County Road B, 608-781-0838 (David Swift)


Rockland Stop & Go – 104 N Commercial St., 608-486-2500


Country Inn – 737 Avon Rd., 608-269-3110

Franklin Victorian B&B – 202 East Franklin St., email:  fvbbinnkkeeper@gmail.com (Jennifer/Steve) 608-366-1427

Justin Trails, 7452 Kathryn Ave., Sparta, WI 54656, 608-855-0282

Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce – 111 Milwaukee St., email:  www.bikesparta.us, 1-800-354-BIKE, 608-269-4123 –  info@bikesparta.com

Sparta Kwik Trip, Store #317, 1751 E WI Street 54656, Randy Hanson, 608-793-6342 (Hwy 16 East, Sparta)

Speed’s Properties LLC, d/b/a Speed’s Bicycle & Elec. Mtrs., 1126 John Street, Sparta, WI 54656, 608-269-2315

Super 8 Motel – 716 Avon Rd., 608-269-8489 (Lee)

West Salem

Hansen’s IGA – 635 W Hwy 16, 608-786-1730 (Penny)

Le Coulee Cheese – 112 S. Leonard St., (Nick Miller)

Veterans Memorial Campground – N4668 Cty. Rd. VP, 608-786-4011 (Darlene)

Village of West Salem – 175 S Leonard St., 608-786-1858

Bike Shuttles

Rates & Distance for Bike Shuttles from Sparta. Rates are based on using the biker’s vehicle.
Camp Douglas35mi$25
La Crosse26mi$20
Perrot State Park45mi$45
West Salem15mi$15
*Add $30 if driver is using his/her vehicle
Jim Liska(608) 881-9588
Alice Olsen(608) 487-5409
Dave Heilman(608) 487-3271
Pete or Marlene Perkins(608) 269-4759
Tom McNaulty(608) 269-6087
Harlan or Sandy Perry(608) 269-2774
*Speed's Bike Shop
*Rates are different, please call for prices
(608) 269-2315
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