7 Fat Bike Getaways: Where to Ride this Winter
As a company of cyclists, we put out the call for recommended places to get rad with a fat bike. And we didn’t stop there. Our Facebook friends chimed in too. Here’s our round-up:
1. Marquette, Michigan
With multiple shout outs from our Facebook friends and Brand Advocate, Billy, Marquette soared to the top of the list. Made up of more than 60 miles of groomed fat bike trails drool-worthy enough to catch the eye of Outside Magazine and Pinkbike, it’s easy to see why.
“Marquette County, Michigan, rules! NTN & RAMBA!”
Photo from David L.
Marquette has over 83 miles of shoreline along Lake Superior and is the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or U.P. for short. The resident’s adventurous spirit to get out on two wheels in the snow dates back into the 1970s, so it comes as no surprise that this town is rolling the way for new fat bike trail grooming techniques adopted by other snowy states.
“Marquette, Michigan, is on another level for trails and grooming. And the snow is bottomless!”
With three trail groomed trails to choose from, no snow bike trip to Marquette is exactly the same. Choose from the Noquemanon SBR, Noquemanon NSBR or the RAMBA SBT trails to find a ride that fits your adventure that day.
Clockwise, from top left: Ray U., Facebook; Ryan C. on Marquette's "Chunder Muffin" trail; Facebook; Ray U., Facebook
And if you’d rather opt for a guided fat bike tour or need a rental, Marquette’s got you covered.
Kyle S. (Facebook) and his crew pausing for a photo in Marquette, Michigan.
2. Madison, Wisconsin
With a staff of year-round commuters and fat bike enthusiasts, our in-house recommendations elevated our hometown to the No. 2 slot. From snow-covered lakes to local bars to groomed mountain bike trails, Wisconsin’s capitol city has a lot to offer fat bikers.
“Madison, Wisconsin! I normally just ride with my dog.”
Photo from John O.
One location recommendation that came up again and again were frozen lakes, any frozen lake. Here in Madison we’re lucky enough to have four large bodies of water within biking distance. When the lakes are snow crusted, fat bikes work the same as they do on any snowy surface. If iced, studded fat bike tires can help grip the lake’s surface.
"My alert Catahoula and I love biking on Lake Monona with their mom, Lola. Fat biking is a much welcome reprieve for the pup who can’t get out much in winter and on a day like this last one, it didn’t feel like -2 outside. With the sun on the lake and a nice still day, you can convince yourself that it’s 30°F.
"Fat biking on lakes is my favorite winter activity because it always gives me a thrill to think of all the life happening below me and is a reminder to keep our lakes healthy and our streams clear. It’s equally exciting as well because I’m always afraid of falling through the ice (even though I know that that is a rare occurrence) and I’m a huge advocate for doing something scary every day. Thanks, Eleanor Roosevelt!
"We always have safety gear and know the protocol if we do fall through but it’s still crazy to think about 75’ of water and ice below you.”
Photos from Harvey E.
Madison’s bike commuter trails get extra love on snowy days. Fresh fat bike tracks are laid as Madisonians go to and from work, shopping, or commuting between trail systems.
“Beside commuting 10+ miles in the snow, I love just riding around Madison on our bike path network. The city gets so quiet when blanketed in snow. Bonus that there are so many taverns to stop and get warm along the way. Pictured here last winter with a pit stop at the Malt House (notice the Bike Fixation parking racks).”
Photo from Todd of his and his wife's fat bikes here in Madison
3. CamRock Trails, Wisconsin
For those venturing to Wisconsin for some snow biking, you’d be remiss not to hit up CamRock Café and Sport in Cambridge. With 10 miles of singletrack and 8 miles of multi-track starting from their parking lot, CamRock is a hub of cycling activity for all levels.
Photo from Derek N, Saris
According to Derek, our Director of Product Development, “CamRock is the best fat biking around.” Top it off with fat bike rentals, on-site bike repair, craft beers and delicious food, CamRock’s got your winter bike outing covered.
“Love the trails in my backyard at CamRock Park!”
Photo of Chuck, Facebook
Located 20-minutes east of Madison and 60-minutes west of Milwaukee (home of the Kettle Moraines), CamRock is a perfect addition to a Wisconsin fat biking adventure checklist.
Speaking of Kettle Moraine, here's Kristy H of Facebook taking a wintertime adventure through Greenbush in the Northern Kettles.
4. Breckenridge, Colorado
One of our customer service reps, Carson, recently took a trip out to Breckenridge to get fat. He came back with rave reviews for Gold Run Nordic Center Trails there in Breckenridge.
“Trails were well-groomed and they had inexpensive fat bike rentals from Borealis available, too. It was a blast!”
Consistently ranked as one of the heathiest states in the country, it’s no surprise that Colorado would be a hub of fat bike activity. Well that, and the fact that they get quite a bit of snow. Plus, the Centennial State draws fat bikers from all over for their self-made Fat Bike World Championships, held annually in Crested Butte.
Fat bikes have opened the door to a new winter pastime.
And in case you needed to add more to your Colorado fat bike itinerary, our Facebook friend, Matt G, also recommends Fox Run Regional Park and the Red Rock Open Space in Colorado Springs.
Red Rock Open Space in Colorado Springs.
5. Squilchuck State Park, Washington
Our friend, Evan P, ensured that the west coast got a spot on our list. While most are likely to associate west coast states to sandy fat bikes, there’s plenty of snow-producing elevation to be found. Squilchuck State Park located 9-miles south of Wenatchee, Washington, is one of those places.
At 3,200 feet of elevation, the park features views of fir and ponderosa pine and boasts 10-miles of mountain bike trails. Made up of beginner and intermediate trails, as well as a skills area, their local MTB club has all the details and a map to make it easy for you to get out and ride. And if you’re ready to take a break from the saddle, you can cruise down the sled hill on a tube or hit up the cross-country ski trails.
Evan P is all smiles at Squilchuck.
6. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Located just 30-minutes south of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a beacon of fun for winter riders. Recommended to us by Danielle F on Facebook, Cuyahoga features two main fat biking trails: the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. With fat bike rentals close by, and a yearly average snowfall of more than 60 inches, the conditions are ripe for some excellent fat bike rides.
Bonus: if you’ve got a visit scheduled for the month of February, be sure to check out the two fat bike events put on by Century Cycles to help beat the winter blues.
Matthew M, Saris, enjoying the winter with his pup.
7. Wintergreen Gorge, Pennsylvania
The Keystone State made the list thanks to a shout out from our Facebook friend Glen W. Wintergreen Gorge is in the scenic city of Erie on the shores of – you guessed it – Lake Erie. Located 120-miles northeast of the #6 location above, Wintergreen Gorge is a great addition to a fat biking road trip – especially if snow is in the forecast.
In fact, at the end of 2017, Erie raked in over four feet of snow within 30 hours! Talk about prepping the trails for some truly epic snow biking. While these big snow events are never a sure thing, the 6 miles of trail connecting to the nearby Penn State Behrend to Wintergreen Gorge was ready for action.
Fresh fat bike tracks in the snow.
Not Just for Fat Bikes
When we put out the call for recommendations, some of our non-fat bike friends got in the mix too. And they’re absolutely right. While a fat bike will provide an entirely different experience versus more traditional mountain bikes, a fat tire bike is not a requirement to get rad in the snow.
“Right in our backyard! (Also, who needs a fat bike?!)” – Jimmy W, Saris
Whatever your shred-sled of choice may be, we hope you get out this winter and ride. There’s nothing quite like it!