Sidie Hollow County Park is a collaborative effort between Vernon Trails (an IMBA club affiliate), and Vernon County Parks. Since September of 2006, over 225 volunteers have built 4.5 miles of “shared use” singletrack trails. This new trail network along with the 2.5 miles of doubletrack that was already established combines to create 7+ miles of trail that ranges in difficulty. The lower loop is a two-mile doubletrack that meanders around the lake, ideal for beginners and/or a perfect warm-up. The other trails climb up and down the bluffs (300 vertical feet) and follow contour lines with perfect flow. Expect to find lung-busting climbs, rocks and roots, log piles, switchbacks, and perfectly designed benchcut.
This region of southwestern Wisconsin is known as the Driftless Area. The continental glacier skirted around this area resulting in very hilly, densely forested land, lending itself to ideal mountain biking topography. On behalf of Vernon Trails, we would like to invite you to come and enjoy our paradise.
Summary: A quick stop at Bluedog Cycles in Viroqua on the way to the trail proved beneficial. Shop employee and custom frame builder Darrell Anders set my wife and I up with a great map and instructions and we were on our way. These well built trails encompass one of hundreds of beautiful mounds in Wisconsin's driftless area. There are two expertly designed trails leading from top to bottom of the mound replete with switchbacks, rocks, and logs--a great challenge to all. The upper loops are fast with bermed corners and great flow. This system is very similar to HPT in terms of elevation change and sustainability. The trail system is part of the Sidie Hollow County park which has a campground (some electric), showers, lake, and stream. I would highly recommend this trail to anyone citizen to expert.
Recommended Route: Park at the top campground entrance and look for the singletrack 200 yards from the dead end road loop. My rating will be a "5" once more trail is added. There are enough loop combinations now for a two hour ride.
Other recommended trails in the same area: HPT-LaCrosse and Kickapoo Valley Reserve
Summary: I'll simply echo what everyone else has said. This is a great flowy trail that everyone from beginners to hardcore racers could enjoy. I'm bummed I had to move away - I used to ride at least once a week, if not more. I can't wait to get back in the spring to ride there again.
Recommended Route: Start at the lower campground near the lake, and head up the new trail. Do as many loops as you feel the need to. There is no 'right' direction, so do be aware of on coming hikers and bikers.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Kickapoo Valley Reserve; Ash Creek Forest, Richland Center; Decorah IA; Yellow River State Forest, IA; Volga State Rec Area, IA; FDR Trails, Dubuque IA; The Hills of Prairie du Chien
Summary: the something for everyone trail starts with a nice loop around the lake. there are then two ways to get to the top, the first is a pretty steep and technical climb(great downhill) that starts with the wooden steps by the playground equipment. the preferred route to the top is the just completed trail that starts by campsite 51. it is a long meandering climb with lots of great switchbacks and a couple of dry creek crossings. the "bobby" crowns the ridge like a prince of singletrack with sensuous flow and lungbusting aerobic levels. there are two scenic overlook trails with great views and offer a great spot to catch your breath. there is also a log challenge area and another connector trail in the works.
Recommended Route: start at Bluedog Cycles. a great place to get the lowdown and they have rental bikes. the great thing about sidie is there are many different routes you can take and always get a different experience.
Other recommended trails in the same area: HPT, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, jersey valley, duck egg, ash creek
Summary: As a first time mountain biker, I learned to ride on these trails. I didn't know it then, but I couldn't have picked a better trail system to learn on. Sidie Hollow is an interesting network of trails full of switchbacks, rolling climbs, rocks, roots, bridges, logs and beautiful views. It has a beginner trail that follows the shoreline of Sidie Hollow Lake and intermediate and advanced singletrack trails that climb along the hills of the park. The climbs are cleverly worked into the trails so that you can get a great workout. Sidie Hollow also has camping sites available and it's only 10 minutes from downtown Viroqua, where you can stop for food and drink at a local cafe and often hear live music, buy your healthy energy bars at the food coop, check out the music scene at Greenman Music, or stop by the local bike shop, Bluedog Cycles, to check on trail conditions and meet other riders.
Recommended Route: It's good many ways. You could start at the upper camping area and ride counterclockwise around the first loop, or if you'd like to begin with a nice climb, start on the newer trail at the bottom camping area (where the big shelter is). For details, ask Bluedog.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Kickapoo Valley Reserve in LaFarge, Jersey Valley in Westby, Human Powered Trails in LaCrosse, Ash Creek in Richland Center, Wisconsin.
Summary: In two years time, Vernon County went from a dry county (NO legal singletrack) to a burgeoning mountian biking hotspot with 7 miles of new singletrack. The volunteer efforts and local business support have been amazing and at the current rate of trail building, it's projected that Sidie Hollow will have 15 miles of trails for all levels of ability within three years.
That said, Sidie Hollow County Park is a destination spot in the works. The trails ride very smoothly. On two seperate occasions I've had the priviledge to ride the network with representatives from IMBA and the feedback that they both gave was "great flow". Sidie has it all- giant climbs, rock armoring, roots gallore, log piles, switchbacks, carved-out benchcut, and spectacular views. All at higher average speeds than many of the trails found in the dense forests of Wisconsin.
This is definately a trail network worthy of a visit today, and moreover, a trail worth coming back to as it grows.
Recommended Route: The trail layout is such that there is not any right or wrong direction. Depending on your ambition and fitness level, you can put together a ride that an absolute beginner can enjoy, or a loop that averages 200 vertical feet of climbing per mile.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Vernon Trails (trailcrew) is currently working with Vernon County to develop trails at Sidie Hollow, Duck Egg County Park, and Jersey Valley County Park. We have also been working closely with the Kickapoo Valley Reserve (a spectacular 8,600 acres of public land located in the center of Vernon County) to create more mountain biking opportunities.