Omaha Trail Ride Report
Ride report with pictures from the Omaha Trail
Camp Douglas to Elroy Wisconsin
August 17th, 2001
Click on any photo to see the full size image.
Click here to go to my Elroy Sparta Trail Ride Report
Before you hit the trail I would recommend that you pick up a copy of the book "Elroy Sparta Trail Guide" by Bob Sobie. The book is packed full of information that you will find useful while riding the trail.
We arrived in Sparta Thursday night August 17th, 2001. It took us about 5 hours to drive from the Western suburbs of Chicago with a stop to get gas and something to eat. We got into Sparta about 5:30 P.M. The sky was dark to the West and we knew it would start raining shortly. You could tell that it had rained earlier in the day by the wet roads. We wanted to ride part of the La Crosse River State trail but I didn't want to risk my daughter and myself getting soaked. We drove around town and found the trailhead for the Elroy Sparta trail and the East end of the La Crosse River trail. Directly to the side of the La Crosse River trail is Speeds bicycle shop. What a perfect location between both of the paths. The bike shop rents bikes, tandems, recumbents at very reasonable rates. If you need any bike repairs or items for your bike you have come to the right place. We bought a couple of BikeMe T-shirts and 2 trail passes for the next day. We checked in at the Best Nights Inn. Their prices were very good, the rooms were clean. The owner Dragan Miljkovic was very friendly and has a cool accent. He grew up in Serbia. We drove over to Pizza hut to eat dinner. After dinner we went back to to motel and watched TV for a while and went to bed.
We got up early and took advantage of the free continental
breakfast and grabbed a donut and orange juice from the office. The sky was blue
without a cloud in sight. The temp was a little cool but we new it was going to
be about 80 degrees later in the day.
My friend Lloyd and his dad Bud showed up about 8:00 A.M. They drove in from Wisconsin Rapids. OutSpokin' Adventures pulled into the parking lot about 8:15 A.M. I had called the day before to schedule shuttle service for our bikes and ourselves to Camp Douglas. Using OutSpokin's shuttle service allowed us to ride the Omaha and Elroy Sparta trails rather than doing the Elroy Sparta trail twice. Tom Mc Anulty arrived ahead of schedule, loaded up our bikes and we headed off to Camp Douglas. Tom was very knowledgeable about the area and all of the trails. If you are in the area I strongly suggest that you give OutSpokin' a call and use their shuttle service or set up a tour. The cost is reasonable and the service and knowledge is great.
We arrived at the Omaha Trail trailhead in Camp Douglas about 9:15 A.M. We read the sign that showed where trail passes are available. The passes cost $1.00 for each person 18 years or older. It would have been helpful if there was a map showing where you could buy the passes. Lloyd remembered the gas station's name about a block up the street and it was on the list. We rode our bikes up to the gas station and bought the 3 passes that we needed. We headed back to the trailhead.
We checked out the the washrooms and showers across form the trailhead. There facilities were very clean. There were real flush toilets and free showers (donations excepted). When I came out of the restroom I found out that Bud had fell on his bike. While trying to mount the bike his foot slipped and he fell over the handlebars. Luckily he was OK. We headed across the street to start our ride.
I took a picture of the trailhead.
The trail was void of people for the first mile or two then a gray haired lady passed us heading towards Elroy.
The trail was open to the sky in most areas.
I did not bring any sunscreen but it was early in the day so I didn't get burned.
We saw a lot of rabbits.
We rode through a small town named Hustler. There was hardly any activity in town.
We passed neat rock formations along side the trail.
Here is a picture of one of the many small bridges that we crossed on the trail.
We rode near the entrance to the tunnel. There was a very cool breeze blowing in our faces.
I stopped to take a picture of the North end of the tunnel.
It was quite dark with all of the trees overhead. I should have brought some higher speed film.
The trail was getting very wet at this point. As we entered the tunnel the trail surface was about 1/2" to 1" of mud. There was no gravel anywhere in sight.
We continued walking to the South end of the tunnel where there was more standing water. I don't know if the tunnel is usually this muddy but it was a mess.
We exited the tunnel and I took a picture of the South entrance.
The sun was shining here so the picture turned out much better than the North entrance did.
We rode a couple more miles into Elroy. The city with 3 trails. The Elroy Sparta, Omaha and 400 trails.
If you would like to read about my Elroy Sparta ride the same day click here.
Overall the Omaha is a very nice trail. Almost all of the trail is blacktop and is in very good condition. Gravel or blacktop should be added through the tunnel.
If you have any questions or comments please email me.