Family Biking Leopold & Pine Island

Bike Pine Island

Levee Road between Baraboo and Portage Wisconsin is not only a great drive, being one of Wisconsin’s designated rustic roads, but it is also an ideal family cycling destination as well. While Levee Rd. is about 11 miles in total from County Rd T to Highway 33 just west of the Wisconsin River, parking is only available about a mile in on either side, making for slightly less than 20 mile round trip. Along the way you will explore wonderful forests that hang over the road like a cathedral as well as open prairies and marshlands. The Pine Island Reserve alone consists of approximately 1,240 acres of wetland, 1,955 acres of upland (grasslands)/savannah, and 1,970 acres of wooded habitat. This area is also popular with bird watchers as well. Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles flying over the river! There are also a variety of areas open to hikers, a dog training area, and of course access to the Wisconsin river… Not to mention some great views of the river from atop the levee itself.  Do be mindful of private lands interspersed within the public areas.  One home along the way has a distinctly unfriendly “GO AWAY!” sign posted on their porch!

If biking with your kids, I’d recommend bringing a nice lunch and doing a distance within their enjoyment zone. There is some, but little traffic and only one significant hill on the route. The rest is flat and easy to ride. You should be aware of narrow sections and blind corners and stick to the side of the road of course. Our 10 year old is comfortable with the complete round-trip, but is certainly ready to be done nearing the 18 mile mark. I’d also suggest packing a lunch for a picnic on the levee and with treats and of course lots of water. Hydration is paramount to having a good time out there. Levee Rd. travels through a very rural area with no shops or gas stations along the way to purchase snacks.  There is one soda machine at an auto-salvage yard at the corner of Levee Rd. & Hwy 33.

To make a day of this excursion we’d recommend taking time to visit the Aldo Leopold Foundation along the way.  Guided & self guided tours are available.  We recommend taking time to check out the photography through time exhibit and of course the historic Aldo Leopold Shack.  Click here for more information on the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

To get there..

From Baraboo, take county Rd T north out of town about 8.6 miles and watch for the Rustic Road sign to the right.  You can also connect with Levee Rd. just of Highway 33 about 1/2 mile west of the Wisconsin River Bridge into Portage.


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