Welcome to Portage, the third oldest settlement in Wisconsin and home to four of the Columbia County Bike Loops. Make plans to ride all the loops this summer. You can stay in Portage, where four of the routes originate from, to enjoy riding and other local attractions.
Begin your journey in Portage at Riverside Park along the Wisconsin River and the levee walk. Grab a bite to eat at the local favorite, Tamarack Pizza, which is right next to the park.
Where you go from there is up to you. Venture west from Portage along Highway O to explore the northeast tip of the county along the Wisconsin River to the Wisconsin Dells. Head north from Portage to see John Muir Park, the boyhood home of this famous Naturalist. Travel northeast from Portage to find an Amish community. Take a break at their bakery or country store.
Adventure Throughout Columbia County
You will meet miles and miles of beautiful Wisconsin countryside as you travel throughout Columbia County away from Portage. Bicyclists can see a wealth of natural views of wetlands, valleys, rivers, lakes, wildlife areas and so much more along the 13 routes plus connector routes.
East of Portage you will find a cluster of giant wind turbines – more than 80 – sprinkled around the landscape, featuring many challenging hills capped with scenic views.
Pass through Rio, fittingly known as Camper Country USA, and Columbus, featuring the famous downtown where the filming of the Johnny Depp’s “Public Enemies” movie took place.
Head west from Columbus for more peaceful settings. At the Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary in Arlington, you will see restored wetlands and prairie habitats with thousands of waterfowl and more than 250 bird species.
West of Arlington is Lodi, where photo opportunities abound with views of Lake Wisconsin, Crystal and Fish Lakes, the Baraboo Bluffs and Gibraltar Rock. Access trails into Sauk County, the Merrimac Ferry to Devil’s Lake and a connector to US Bike Route 30 in Dane County.
Northeast of Lodi, see the wildlife area where animals are housed in natural habitats at the MacKenzie Center near Poynette. Bring your lunch and enjoy the beautiful picnic area there. Ride through the nearby prairies and interpretive trails through the mature forestland.
The Portage and Columbia County Bike Loops were developed with the cooperation of the Columbia County Silent Sports Trails Committee and the Columbia County Highway Department.
Request a Portage & Columbia County Bike Loop Map by calling the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, 608-742-6242. Stay in Portage to enjoy these sites and more!