LOCAL OUTDOOR HIGHLIGHT : Grand Geneva's Mountain Bike Granduer

Grand Geneva is already a well-known resort destination in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It's former Playboy Club status is famously renowned, and it's place among luxury accommodation is atop the list in the region. The golf courses are world-class, and the amenities are extensive from indoor waterparks to horse stables, spa, and an adventure center. In this highlight we're looking at the mountain bike trail system out of the Adventure Center at The Mountain Top of Grand Geneva.

^Meander the car through resort amenities and
golf courses all the way to the back corner of Grand Geneva. From the right side the lodge at The Mountain Top comes into view from across a well manicured fairway and fountain accented pond. Follow the road around to the base lodge area. Just inside the front door is a gear shop where you purchase your day pass. Half-day and full-day passes are available as well as season passes. A decked out rental shop has Trek bikes for rent for all ages and abilities. Grab a trail map, apply some bug spray, and shove off.

^Trail map.The trail system is built and maintained in partnership with a local organization called, TreadHead Cycling. The green and blue, Timber Loop Bike Trail and Back Blue Bike Trail respectively, are double track roads that have seen single track grooves run into them over time. This scenario is great for youngsters or beginners that are ready to get off the pavement, but still want more open space riding. The Mountain Top Bike Trail in red is the crown jewel of the system though. The single track trail weaves through the double track often, which allows for reroutes, redirects, or repeats of various sections of the Mountain Top Bike Trail. All the trails are directional, but variations can be put together with some route planning. Many "features" of the trail are labeled with signage individually, which helps in navigation as well as developing favorite areas that can be highlighted or repeated with some route planning.  

^Naturally everything starts right out of the base area near the lodge, and depending upon the route, goes from manicured open ski resort terrain to deep dark wooded single track.   

^Rolling around the base of the ski area through the "Center Stage" area brings riders right past the base lodge quickly into the first big climb of the trail.

^Michigan Ave. Hill Climb goes right up the middle of the ski resort area and wraps up to the top of the ski area for great view and the subsequent first downhill section as well.

^These two local guys are cruising down the fast section right in front of the base area of the lodge in this picture above. The trail does a great job of utilizing the elevation that the ski area hill provides to deliver a variety of climbs and descents throughout the 5-mile trail. While the two biggest climbs come near the beginning of the trail the design does a good job of jogging away and then returning back to the elevation of the ski area to offer a good mix of climbs and descents throughout the ride. 

^Plenty of deep dark woods littered with mature old growth, and winding turns.

^While the area is known for good packed dirt, the Mountain Top Bike Trail featured much more technical roots, rocks, and loose gravel from time to time along the ride. Some A/B sections also offered some rocky scrambles, and even a couple small rocky drops and a laddered section.  

^As well as break out prairies within the woods to give rider's a sense of space periodically.  

^The system does a good job of traveling through the various eco-systems of the landscape around the Grand Geneva resort grounds and makes use of the terrain in catering to diverse risk profiles and abilities. 

^The expansive views attainable due to the use of the ski resort elevation and manicuring is a gem within the system though without a doubt. The single track is good, the woods are a blast, but when the beautiful views are mixed into the system it adds an extra element that is unique to a ski resort based trail system. The wooded nature of the region makes viewpoints often difficult as it is seeing views through the trees. The way the system uses the ski area hill top at various points brings those views back over and over especially in the front half of the ride. 

^Another seldom considered feature, in which the trail weaves in and out of double track and joins with it throughout the system, makes it an especially good venue for bike races in which trail congestion and passing become issues that most every day riders seldom have to worry about on a good directional trail system such as this. Which is why the Wisconsin Off-Road Series brings an annual race through the resort each year in conjunction with TreadHead Cycling's annual TreadFest. The trail system at The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva has a good mix for the total package in a trail system. The onsite bike rentals make it a perfect location to learn, and the overall resort amenities and accommodations that make up Grand Geneva are obviously already a great reason to take a mountain bike trip to Lake Geneva and make your base camp at luxurious Grand Geneva.

For more information, maps, and directions from the Grand Geneva website, click here.