City Cast

Madison's Best Bike Trips

Adrian González
Adrian González
Posted on September 19
Four bicycles leaning against a bridge railing overlooking a river in the mid-afternoon.

The Madison area has a number of trails, paths and state parks that are great for bike trips. (Grant Foster / Madison Bikes Board Member)

Madison is full of great biking opportunities. Whether you want to unwind with a short spin, take a long bike trip with friends, or make it an overnight adventure, here are the best bike trips around Madison.

Take a Short Spin

If you have limited time or are just getting comfortable with riding a bike around the city, here are some great options.

  • Downtown Loop along State Street and around the Capitol: It’s two miles long and great for people watching.
  • Lake Mendota shorefront to Picnic Point: This three-mile ride is best paired with a picnic in the middle.
  • Wingra Lake Loop through the UW Arboretum: A beautiful six-mile trip through some of the city’s flora.

Longer Rides

If you’ve got an hour or two, these are the rides we recommend.

  • Lake Monona Loop: One of the most iconic rides in Madison, featuring gorgeous prairies and lots of wildflowers. It clocks in at around 12 miles.
  • Cap City Loop: Lake Farm Park to Seminole Hwy, through the Arboretum and back to Lake Farm via Wingra and Cap City paths. This one’s around 16 miles.
A lakeside camping scene: Tent set up in the foreground, person sits next to their bicycle in the background.

Why not make it an overnight trip? (Grant Foster / Madison Bikes Board Member)

Get Out of the City

Ready to hop on the saddle? Listen to our conversation with Madison Bikes board member Grant Foster for more trips and recommendations on how to prepare.

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