John Muir

County: JEFFERSON

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Nearest City: Palmyra
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Annual Fee: 15.00
Daily Fee: $4.00

Legend

John Muir is located 8 miles east of Whitewater off of County Highway H in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest. Excellent facilities are located on site, including a paved parking lot, pit toilets, a bike wash and drinking water. This system is connected to the Emma Carlin trail system which has similar terrain. The trails are also used by hikers, so be careful.

This system is made of fast track with some technical spots and challenging climbs. A lot of effort has been put into creating new single track in this trail system in the last couple of years. The first new section of single track can be found on the blue loop about a quarter of a mile beyond the Red loop trail head. This section offers tight switchbacks, logs and log piles all on a fast hard pack track. If you stay on the Blue loop, which is approximately 10 miles, you can look forward to some switchbacks, rocky, root laden terrain and a series of climbs to get your heart pounding. Those of you who are John Muir veterans will be pleased to know that the most of the geo-block has been removed from those climbs, making for a much nicer ride.

Challenging climbs are abundant at John Muir on many of the loops. One of these can be found on the Orange loop which provides a long, technical, climb (rocks, roots and sand) and changes direction three times before you hit the top at the White/Red trail head. The White trail also has a long, heart pumping climb immediately after the Green loop split. If a short steep climb is what you 're after, bypass the White trail head, stay on the Green loop and give this monster a try. This climb is covered with geo-block as well as 3"-4" high rubber strips, spaced about 50 feet apart, the width of the trails on the steepest sections.

For a great technical ride, and a shortcut to the Connector trail, check out the South Bypass. This is a new trail that offers switchbacks as well as an assortment of challenging obstacles to make most technical riders smile. It 's a short but excellent ride. Don 't miss this trail.

The Red trail is a non technical short loop of 1.5 miles. It 's great for beginners or to be used as a nice cool down.

All-in-all John Muir is a great trail system. These aren't the most technical trails in the state, but there are a total of over 27 miles of trails in the system with many loops to choose from. If that's not enough, take the connector to Emma Carlin and add roughly 15 miles. John Muir may be the most visited trail system in the state, with good reason; it 's well maintained, and provides something for everyone. If you're in southern Wisconsin, make sure you ride John Muir.


  • Overall Trail Difficulty: 3
  • Overall Aerobic Difficulty: 3
  • Overall Trail Rating: 4

Ratings based on a scale of 1-5 • 5 Being the highest •