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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Fitchburg (by Madison). I know and ride the official bike paths (like the badger State trail) and the MTB trails (quarry ridge etc.).

But what I'm looking for is some sort of fire or logging road accessible to the public. Basically a nice flowy MTB riding option earby. Just to ride not on pavement and in nature.

There are some single track paths through to local wooded areas, but they are overgrown in summer (ticks!). Some other paths are prohibited to bicycles (they are hiking only etc.).

Any suggestions? ideally some that are easily accessible from the local bike paths or with little road riding.

Thanks
 

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Wrong part of the state for that but you can do sizable on and off road rides if you connect some park and trail areas. You can ride into and around Blue Mound and Brigham parks from the rail trail. You can connect the metro area MTB rides and some conservancy lands.

Overall, you're just not going to find forest road heaven when your metro area has around 1/2 million people and the surrounding region has million+ dairy cows. Still, it's really nice if you choose your neighborhood well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wrong part of the state for that but you can do sizable on and off road rides if you connect some park and trail areas. You can ride into and around Blue Mound and Brigham parks from the rail trail. You can connect the metro area MTB rides and some conservancy lands.

Overall, you're just not going to find forest road heaven when your metro area has around 1/2 million people and the surrounding region has million+ dairy cows. Still, it's really nice if you choose your neighborhood well.
Good points, as I feared. I forgot to mention I ride all the way from my house to ride. So going to blue mounds is a stretch. I did that before (also to governor dodge State Park). But that was with my hybrid and I was spent. My plan is to take my fatbike to blue mounds, but that makes the travel there even longer.

Head north to the Chequamegon area, and you will find all the gravel and forest roads you can stand.
ha ha! I was more hoping to ride no more than 30 minutes from my home to be in the forest. Going 500 miles up north requires an uber ebike to get that done in 30 minutes :)
 

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Living in Fitchburg gives you access to the Capitol City trail, near Seminole is an area of single track that is right off the bike path. You can also take various bike paths to get to Pleasant View golf course and Mtb trail head, that connects to Blackhawk trails[you need a membership but the cost is really low]. The Badger trail that heads South from Fitchburg turns to a gravel path about 7 miles South of PD and goes all the way to Freeport Il. You are actually in an area with a lot of close options, not really logging roads but still alot of options.
 

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Good points, as I feared. I forgot to mention I ride all the way from my house to ride. So going to blue mounds is a stretch. I did that before (also to governor dodge State Park). But that was with my hybrid and I was spent. My plan is to take my fatbike to blue mounds, but that makes the travel there even longer.

ha ha! I was more hoping to ride no more than 30 minutes from my home to be in the forest. Going 500 miles up north requires an uber ebike to get that done in 30 minutes :)
You might have it wrong with bike choice, but maybe I don't know what a Toughroad is. My wife and I plus sometimes friends go from Madison area to Blue Mound. My wife and I ride heavy duty drop bar bikes for that. Heavy duty gravel or tourer types. We'll ride them on singe track too.

Kind of on the theme of JPL65, you can ride the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and also west from there to the conservancy that was Quisling and now Peni Klein park. Some pavement will connect you to South Fork trail and get you to Pleasant View and Blackhawk. Blackhawk membership starts at $25. People who cut through to Blackhawk without being members are extreme jerks who risk wrecking the privilege the private land owner between gives to Blackhawk members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Living in Fitchburg gives you access to the Capitol City trail, near Seminole is an area of single track that is right off the bike path. You can also take various bike paths to get to Pleasant View golf course and Mtb trail head, that connects to Blackhawk trails[you need a membership but the cost is really low]. The Badger trail that heads South from Fitchburg turns to a gravel path about 7 miles South of PD and goes all the way to Freeport Il. You are actually in an area with a lot of close options, not really logging roads but still alot of options.
I didn't know Pleasant view golf course has a biking section. I may check that out. although, that looks like a lot of road riding to get there. Ideally I stay close to bike trails.

I ride on the capitol city trail sometimes. rode all the way to Broadhead a few weeks ago. that's a nice trail. My only issue is it is all straight and not a loop network. So one goes the same way all the time. It was once my goal to make it to IL on that path, but that may be too ambitious for one day (and to come back)

You might have it wrong with bike choice, but maybe I don't know what a Toughroad is. My wife and I plus sometimes friends go from Madison area to Blue Mound. My wife and I ride heavy duty drop bar bikes for that. Heavy duty gravel or tourer types. We'll ride them on singe track too.

Kind of on the theme of JPL65, you can ride the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and also west from there to the conservancy that was Quisling and now Peni Klein park. Some pavement will connect you to South Fork trail and get you to Pleasant View and Blackhawk. Blackhawk membership starts at $25. People who cut through to Blackhawk without being members are extreme jerks who risk wrecking the privilege the private land owner between gives to Blackhawk members.
The toughroad is a rigid MTB for lack of better explanation. I have 2.15" front tire and 2" rear tire. They are smooth touring tires, but capable of simple single track. It is my pavement and gravel bike with a Jones bar. works perfectly for the mission. The real downer is it doesn't have a dropper (it has a proprietary D-shaped seatpost) so I use my fatbike for single tracking. The downside with the fatbike is going long distances over pavement is exhausting (more mentally than physically). So I stay to closer MTB trails (Seminole, Quarry Ridge and Verona County Park)

I've been to Pheasant Branch a few times on my rides around Lake Mendota and Monona. I'm dreading the riding through Middleton without proper bike lanes....

I guess I'm looking for the impossible near a metropolis. I just came home from my home town in Germany and there I just ride off through some meadows and then I could ride hundreds of km on logging roads with minimal road passage. That made me a bit homesick and sad that we don't have forrest here.
 

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I've been to Pheasant Branch a few times on my rides around Lake Mendota and Monona. I'm dreading the riding through Middleton without proper bike lanes....
I'm not sure what you mean.

Riding around Lake Mendota is a death wish. Middleton has dedicated bike lanes with and pathways away from streets. The whole conservancy is the bike cut through for going between north and south sides.

Show up at the brewery (Middleton) on the Tuesday & Thursday bike nights and there will be dozens or hundreds of people doing different styles of riding from there. Proceeds from drinking the trail ale helps pay for your trail stuff anywhere you ride in the area.
 

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There are very few stretches of unpaved road within 25 miles of Fitchburg. There's one 2 mile gravel road NW of New Glarus. There are a couple gravel 1/2-1 mile dead ends near Belleville. But other than the Badger Trail and Military Ridge, your options are limited. And even less hobo trail, most of which is too overgrown by this time of year. In the fall there was a group who would do 2-3 rides on farmland north of Middleton, but last year they were cancelled, so not sure: https://www.facebook.com/SWORBR/
 
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