Below are five guides to popular bicycling routes in Madison. Each guide is broken up into distinct sections with maps providing detailed instructions. These are not group rides but are to be taken whenever you want to go.
Bicycling Around Lake Monona
The 12.5 mile route around Lake Monona is one of the most popular bicycle trips in Madison. It goes through a mixture of bicycle paths and lightly traveled streets and takes about 75 minutes for the average cyclist.
Click on A Guide to Bicycling Around Lake Monona
Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop
The route (8.2 miles) traverses a mixture of bicycle paths, city streets with bike lanes, and a quiet road through the U.W. Arboretum. It takes about 50 minutes for the average cyclist.
Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop
Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop
The route (18.1 miles) is entirely on dedicated bicycle paths with the exception of a short 1/2 mile section on a quiet road. It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.
Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop
Bicycling the McFarland Loop
The highlight of this route (18 miles) is a mile-long bridge spanning Lake Waubesa. It is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America. It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.
Click on A Guide to Bicycling the McFarland Loop_______________________________________________________________
Bicycling the Blackhawk Path/Lake Mendota Drive/Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop
This 7.8 mile loop begins at Allen Centennial Garden and parallels University Avenue on bike paths before heading over to Lake Mendota Drive, a quiet, tree-lined residential neighborhood. It then follows the Lakeshore Nature Preserve back to the starting point. It takes less than one hour for the average cyclist.
2023 Update - The Blackhawk / Campus bike path that goes by University Station, Lodgic and VA hospital will be closed from Wednesday April 19 for at least three months. Detour signs are in place sending bikes along Harvard Dr and Highland Ave.
Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Blackhawk Path, Lake Mendota Drive, Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop_______________________________________________________________
BCycle Stations along the Route
Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the routes where you can rent an electric bicycle.
Dane County Bicycle Map
Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)
Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison
Biking in Fitchburg
Compiled by Bob Shaw - firstname.lastname@example.org
August 2020; Updated April 2023