Fat Biking in Wisconsin

The snow and temps are just right guys—it’s prime fat biking weather in Wisconsin. (What’s a fat bike? Think off-road bike with oversized tires.) Since fat bikes are best suited for unstable terrain—snow, sand, or mud—they’re pretty much perfect for our Wisconsin conditions.

With their rise in popularity has come some amazing fat bike trails, and Wisconsin is known for having some of the best you can find. We’ve got rolling hills, valleys, and lakeshores galore. So, where can you ride? Here are some of Wisconsin’s most popular fat biking destinations:

Kettle Moraine State Forest, John Muir and Emma Carlin Trails, La Grange.fat bike2

Kettle Moraine is home to some of the state’s most popular mountain bike trails. With hundreds of miles of trails, varying in difficulty and length, finding an enjoyable loop for your experience level is almost guaranteed. Be prepared, steep climbs or descents are common. Rental: Backyard Bikes & Ski rents bikes year-round, including fat bikes. Reserve online, in advance, for a $5.00 discount.

Lapham Peak State Park, Delafield

A great local option, and one that isn’t too technically tough. With the myriad of hills, you’ll get a workout, especially on a fat bike.

Minooka Park, Waukesha

Minooka has 26 miles of scenic trails. Ranging from wide and easy to more technical single track, the trails at Minooka satisfy a wide range of preferences. There are some intense climbs and fast downhills. Although built for beginners, the twists and turns are aplenty.

Whitetail Ridge Park, River Falls

Whitetail Ridge Park has just over 6 miles of bike trail—a nice mixture of wooded singletrack and tight, twisty turns through an open field. You’ll encounter rock areas, steep climbs, and fast downhills. They’ve also added new technical features including bridges, teeters, and a wooden berm.

Wildcat Mountain Bike Trail, Washburn County

The 14 miles of loop trails at Wildcat was built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. The combination of single track, old logging trails, and portions of the Beaverbrook ATV trail make Wildcat trails perfect for multiple experience levels.

Mt. Ashwabay, Bayfield, WI 

Mt. Ashwabay has 7 miles of moderate to advanced groomed trails. Constantly growing, the ultimate goal is to develop up to 25 miles of singletrack trails. Rules do stipulate tires that are 3.7″ or wider, with a max air pressure of 10psi.

CAMBA Trails, Chequamegon

The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association off-road bike trail system consists of over 300 miles of marked and mapped routes. 2.5 – 24 mile loop routes are open to winter mountain biking and fat biking. New singletrack trails are being constructed every year. Rentals: Several shops in the area rent bikes. Check out CAMBA’s listing here.

Fat Bike Events

For you seasoned pros (and enthusiastic beginners), there are plenty of local fat bike races and rides. Here’s a small selection of Wisconsin fat bike races and rides:

Hugh Jass Fat Bike Series | The Hugh Jass Bike Series is made up of seven fat bike events. At every race, there’s a live dj, heat, beverages after the race, bike demos by Badger Fat Bikes, tech service by Wheel & Sprocket, games, and beer. Mens, womens, and juniors courses vary in length and difficulty, depending on weather.

Snow Crown Wisconsin Fat Bike Series | In its first year, the Snow Crown series is made up of three individual races. All races will have chip timing and cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place competitors, per race.

Great Lakes Fat Bike Series | The 45NRTH Great Lakes Fat Bike Series is the largest fatbike racing series in the United States. The series spreads nine races out across the great lakes area. This series is a winter traveler’s delight— you’ll hit the trails in several states.

Frosty Hog Fat Bike Relay Race | This relay-style fat bike race is perfect for a family or friend day outing. Each team member takes on lap before switching to the next, so you can go all out then cheer on your teammates! There will be free food and drinks for registered racers as well as prizes for the top riders.

U.S. Fat Bike Criterium National Championships This race is one facet of the Madison Winter Fest. The race is 10 laps around Wisconsin’s Capitol building, which is equivalent to 10K. Costumes are encouraged (and awards are given for the best one). There’s a party and raffle following the race.

Spear the Fatty Bike Race Ride a challenging 16 mile race or a 4 Mile non-competitive loop along a protected, quiet creek connected to Lake Winnebago. This fat bike race is also open to mountain bikes. After the race there will be music, games, and awards at the tent on the shoreline. Rental: You can rent a bike from Wheel and Sprocket (in advance only).