Bike Columbia County Challenge | Portage Area Chamber of Commerce

Bike Columbia County Challenge

Bike Columbia County Challenge

Columbia County Bike Loop signAs spring 2015 blossoms, people are sketching out their summer plans. Have you created your list of things to see and do this year? As cycling enthusiasts gear up to get their bikes out of storage (we know some of you already have) and on the road, we have a challenge to add to your list! If you have been cycling for a long time, you may be tired of the same repertoire of routes and in the market for a new diet of routes to try this year. If so, pick up a Columbia County Bike Loop Map, available at many local hotels, campgrounds, businesses and the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce. The second edition map is now out and being promoted in publications like Silent Sports and Wisconsin Bike Fed magazines.

The map is your key to 13 route loops, along with some additional connecting routes, that provide some great views and highlights some terrific attractions of Columbia County. Many of the routes are clearly marked with special bike loop signage, courtesy of the Columbia County Silent Sports Trails Committee, which has plans for all the routes to be marked. The routes are not designated bike trails, but rather a network of county highways and local roadways. We encourage you to ride with caution, obey bicycle traffic safety laws and to wear a helmet.

Three of the routes sprout from Portage, the county seat of Columbia County, which is located to the north of Dane County, the number one cycling county in Wisconsin. We encourage all those Dane cycling enthusiasts to come a little further north to experience some great scenery and points of interest in Columbia County. Some highlights along the routes that visitors will be treated to include Amish communities, Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters, the Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary, the MacKenzie Center (wildlife area where animals are housed in their natural habitats), along with many other interesting sites.

After you have accepted the challenge and completed all the routes, go to and submit your name and city. Your name will be posted on the webpage for all to see. Then encourage others to take the challenge!

Get out and ride reminder: The Kiwanis ‘Ride to Read’ bike ride fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2015. For more information and to register, visit  

Brad Conrad