One of our favorite activities to do in the summer is ride our bikes on our local bike trail. We can access it right down the road from our house, and since it also runs through our little town, we can play at the park if we get too tired to go far (we go on longer trips when the kids use the tagalong or bike seats).
Along the trail you can see lots of scenic areas and things of interest. Our favorite spots are the old train tunnels. You have to walk your bike through this one because it is so long you cannot see inside without a light, and the path is a bit narrow.
Of course when you are taking a nice long ride on the trail, you may start to get hungry and need a bite to eat; especially if you travel the entire 32 miles of the trail! The great news is that there are awesome little restaurants in all the little towns along the trail.
One of our favorite places to frequent (party because we can walk to it from our house), is Lesa T’s Creekside Cafe. Located right off the trail in Norwalk, you can drive your bike right up to the restaurant, walk up to the outside window (or go inside if you choose) and order some great food; or our favorite….soft serve ice cream!
Once there you will find tons of seating options; picnic tables under the overhang or out in the open, inside seating if you want to get out of the sun for a bit, or a favorite of the kids…. the grass couch!
On both ends of the Elroy-Sparta State Trail you will find plenty of food options, from fast food restaurants, gas stations, and family restaurants. You can always choose to pack a picnic as well and enjoy the fresh air.
Further down the trail, you will find the towns of Kendall and Wilton. If you are looking to make an overnight journey out of your trip, you can stay at a lovely bed & breakfast in Wilton called Amil’s Inn. Their specialty is serving you an Ole’ Fashion Farmhouse Breakfast.
If you are not looking for an overnight stay, you can find some great restaurants just off the trail in Wilton as well. The Hitchin’ Post offers daily specials, and a great atmosphere. One of my favorite items to get there is the homemade pizza. The Hitchin’ Post is a tavern, so if you have your kids with they are welcome, but it might be best to bring them during daytime hours and steer clear during the evening when the crowds pick up.
If you head back to my town of Norwalk, you will find Diamond Lil’s Korner Bar. Every weeknight features an all you can eat special; my favorite is Tuesday wings! My husband loves Wednesday Pizza, and the kids are just happy to come out to eat with us. If you decide on a burger instead, you won’t be disappointed. They have just the right amount of flavor, and with an order of fries you have the perfect meal!
In the winter, this trail and surrounding trails are marked and maintained by local snowmobile clubs, which also gives you greater access to a wide variety of area restaurants. One of our favorite places to frequent is Badger Crossing in Cashton.
Badger Crossing has a large menu, nightly specials, and a great atmosphere. I love just about everything on their menu, but the broasted chicken is one of my faves. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now!
The Elroy-Sparta Trail is just a short drive from many Midwestern cities and can easily be reached from Interstate 90 at Sparta, Interstate 90/94 at Mauston near Elroy, or several interchanges in between; so if you are looking for a fun and relaxing day trip, weekend trip, or more… check out the Elroy-Sparta State trail and the many restaurants along the way!