Route: Bugline Trail (WI)

Submitted by ccwalker_uwp on Tue, 11/30/2021 - 04:32pm
Wisconsin, US
16.26 mi
Vertical Gain
479 ft


The Bugline cuts through parkways in the suburban areas of Waukesha County. The trail is shaded and winding. Views of the expansive Lannon Quarries are a memorable feature.

The route follows rolling kettle moraine landscape. The winding route it takes has been described "like a caterpillar on a grapevine," so it received the Bug Line name. The trail is on the bed of the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company. It famously carried freight for the Lannon Quarry which is still being mined today for its locally famous Lannon Stone. The line was also a passenger line. The last trains ran until 1978. It was converted to a recreational trail in 1980. Recently, the trail was paved and extended to North Lake.

The park-like setting of the trail makes this trail especially popular. It strings together major city and county parks along its distance. The Merton Segment of the Ice Age National Trail also crosses and shares a portion of the Bugline, so you can get off your bike and stretch your legs on a healthy hike along the Oconomowoc River.

Menomonee Park in Menomonee Falls is a popular starting point for accessing the trail. Menomonee Park hosts a popular beach with diving platforms and also a fishing dock on Trout Lake. An access trail connects Menomonee Park to the Bugline.

Further down the trail in Merton the Milwaukee Polo Club draws crowds to watch polo games on the weekends. It is a rare treat to see majestic horses being driven to gallop speed on the field.

There are endless iterations of recreation that can be put together into a weekend afternoon of fun and relaxation along the Bugline in all seasons.

GPS Track