Big Trail News in Milwaukee for Bike to Work Day!

Yesterday we learned that Milwaukee County Parks will fill the missing link that connects the Oak Leaf Trail to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail this year!  That’s right, they expect that by November, the contractor should finish construction on the long awaited and final Phase 4 of the Oak Leaf Trail extension from Estabrook Park to the existing trail built a couple years ago that ends at Sydney Place.

Let’s keep an eye on progress and weather as we near November. Then how about we organize a Ride to the Border with our pals up in Ozaukee County. Milwaukee County people could start down near Brady Street, ride the trail north and meet somewhere near County Line Road?

Click the image for a larger view.

The second great news came from City of Milwaukee Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager Kristin Bennett who told the Council that the City expects that by the end of July, they expect to finish construction on the extension of the Beerline Trail from Keefe to just north of Capitol Drive. That segment also includes The Artery, so not only will the trail be done, but there is a well funded group revved up to continue their great  community arts programing!

But wait, the good news keeps coming. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers for the Oak Leaf Trail Discovery Tour, The Park People and some generous private sponsors, there is finally a new map of the Oak Leaf Trail. The map is more than just an Oak Leaf Trail map though, as it includes a complete guide about all the area MTB trails, hiking trails, water trails, municipal trails and even eBird hotspots. This first edition of the newly designed Milwaukee County Trails Map and Park Guide has a detailed description of the different amenities and facilities in all the County Parks!  You can purchase a map for $5 at many local bike shops or from the Bike Fed.

Yay, finally a new trail map!

The map does not include on-street bikeways, as the City of Milwaukee recently received a grant to update their bicycle GIS, develop an interactive online map with a mobile application. Expect that map to be done before Bike to Work Day next year.

If that and a ride isn’t enough to cheer you up on a dreary Bike to Work Day, the proceeds from the sale of the new Milwaukee County Trails Map and Park Guide go to purchase permanent trail counters. The county and the City of Milwaukee already have some out and they have been busy collecting data 24-7. The counter on the Oak Leaf near where it ends at Estabrook Park has witnessed 210, 875 people enjoying the trail since it was installed last July 28th. The biggest day was Saturday, Aug. 23rd with 3,113 trail users and the slowest day was in February when 151 braved the cold and snow.

The City installed a trail counter on the KK River Trail between Maple and Washington May 1st, and that has already logged more than 5,600 people on that short segment of trail that gets you off S 1st Street and connects to S. Water Street, which was repaved with many improvements for cycling that we reported about in this blog post last year.

Looking south from the KK River Trail trailhead at Washington Street.


About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

6 thoughts on “Big Trail News in Milwaukee for Bike to Work Day!

  1. Finally, some good news after a spring full of budget cuts and permit battles.
    I like the idea of a Milwaukee/Ozaukee ride. There is a bar/restaurant at County Line Rd where the Brown Deer trail meets the Ozaukee trail, I think it’s called Spanky’s. They might be willing to host something.

  2. I like the idea of the OLT extension, but I’ll surely miss that last section of dirt, single track before Hampton Ave. in WFB. That’s just the mountain biker in me though.

    • Ha, I hear ya. That really gets more to the problem of no legit mountain biking on the East Side. People will continue to ride illegally along the Milwaukee River Trails until we have a designated MTB trail.

  3. Hey, I’m on my phone so maybe I just can’t see it, but is there an easy way to share your blog posts on social media (say FB and/or Twitter for me)? Would like to spread the news!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>