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  1. #1
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    Milwaukee trails updates?

    Wondering if anyone has any more info on some of the changes going on in the Milwaukee area. Primarily I'm looking for info on Alpha/The Rock, and the Milwaukee River trails. Metro Mountain Bikers site doesn't seem to have a lot of current info on these (unless i'm missing something).

    The Rock - I know about the major gravity stuff going on there, but what is the end result going to be like for XC riders? Will we be able to ride up the hill and then ride down, or is the lift-assisted riding the only option? Are there still going to be XC trails on the ski area property? And if so, will it all be fee-based? I'm not interested in driving up there to only ride Alpha, and I just don't see spending 75% of my time there riding the lift and waiting in line (that's why I rarely go downhill skiing).

    Milwaukee River Trails - I haven't been up to ride these in a few years and had heard a while back they may be becoming "official". Has anything changed out there?
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  2. #2
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    I'm not an expert on either location, but here's what I know or have heard:

    The Rock - the Alpha trails will remain free, but I think any use of the gravity trails will require a pass/fee. I'm not sure if there's going to be an option for riding up, but even if there was, I think you'd still have to pay the fee (i.e., it's not just for using the lifts)

    Milwaukee River Trails - I think things access-wise have actually gone backwards for bikers in the last year or so. Last fall, there was a group that put out a petition to have mtbs formally banned from the trail and there were a few meetings on the issue. I'm not sure what has come of it (if anything), but since bikes were never officially allowed anyway, I'm not sure what the city would even need to change. There were some re-routes and changes to the trail surface (gravel, etc.) that apparently made it less singletrack-y and more dog walker-y. I think people will always ride down there, but it sounds as though there are more conflicts than ever.

  3. #3
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    Thanks pm, I've been a bit surprised at the lack of detailed info on the situation at Alpha/The Rock. I'm about 35 miles away, and without the ability to ride up and down at least part of the big hill, i'm not sure it's worth the trip anymore. I'm sure I'll give it a shot, but unless they have some type of an XC package (I've been to ski hills that offer a special discounted pass for XC skiers that are good for just a single ride up the lift), I can't see spending hours repeatedly going up the lift.

    Milwaukee river trails is a tricky issue. I've only ridden there a few times but there was some real fun stuff there. It would be nice to have them be legit and not have to worry about private property and legal issues, but the "legit" trails are never quite as fun as the original trails they replace.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  4. #4
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    Update on The Rock and Alpha Trails.

    I got out to the The Rock and Alpha yesterday and now have the lowdown (at least the current lowdown) on the trails.
    The main Alpha trail is free as is a portion of the old trails by Rawson ave (I think this was called O'Malley's Woods). The other singletrack Northwest of the ski hill is part of the Fee-based area.
    There is an uphill trail that can be ridden to bring you back up to the Lodge. It's actually kind of a fun uphill (nice uphill flow and less strenuous than the old one) and gave me a break from the monotony of the chairlift (I think I rode up almost as many times as I used the Lift).

    I've updated the Alpha Trail / The Rock Bike Park page on my site with an updated map and info. I'll add more detail on the bike park trails when I get more time.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  5. #5
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    Milwaukee River Trails Update

    Got out for a quick ride on the Milwaukee River Trails last week. Most of it is still there and just as fun as I remember, but there is a stretch of trail on the East side around North Ave (as I recall) that has been replaced with crushed stone, and I was very disappointed to find that fun big Bowl feature all closed off (I think that was around Hubbard Park???).

    I realize some mountain bikers don't like these kind of trails, but I think they're an absolute blast to ride (and I've still got a serious multi-colored bruise to prove just how much fun I had) . Well, except for the part where every other side trail I explored seemed to dead-end at someones "camp site". That gets a little weird especially when you're riding alone.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  6. #6
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    I've heard aboot the river trail over the years and always wanted to do a ride there but haven't ever made the effort to even look into where the trail starts and ends.
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  7. #7
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    On the news yesterday morning, the Rock is planning on adding a whole bunch of trails. Everything from competition downhill, to tame XC rides. Expected to reopen late May. Where does one pick up the Milwaukee River Trails?

  8. #8
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    Thought I'd pipe in here as I lived in Milwaukee and rode the river trail for years. I'm out in CO now but still ride it when I visit WI.

    It's a loop that goes from North all the way to Hampton along both sides of the river. Roughly 7 miles. There are a few alternate lines on both sides, you'll have to just explore a bit. There are little rock gardens, drops, etc.

    Where to pick it up varies, easiest is near the bridges. I lived near UWM so always dropped in just South of Locust near the high school. You can cut the loop shorter if you just cross at any of the bridges.

    The north west end involves riding through part of a parking lot and a field behind a building, not sure how legal that is but I rode it for years and no one every called me out.
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  9. #9
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    I live in the Miltown area and frequent the river trails.. All fun stuff!
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