Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oshkosh Riverwalk to Wiouwash Bike & Beer Tour 2015

The last couple of summers, I’ve posted biking tours here that followed the Oshkosh Riverwalk to beer destinations on the Fox River. This year’s trek is going to be slightly different. The opening of Bare Bones Brewery, gives us a good excuse to stretch out and bring the Wiouwash Trail into the tour.

Just to clairfy: This is a DIY, self-guided tour that you can do at anytime. This isn’t an organized, one-time event.

The tour is 12.6 miles long and includes six stops for beer. Most of those miles are at the front end of the ride with the beer stops coming in rapid succession during the last couple of miles. At the bottom of the post is an embedded map, that’ll help if you get lost. And here’s a DIRECT LINK to that map that’s a little easier to access on your phone. Here we go…

Beer Stop #1: Dockside Tavern / 425 Nebraska St.
This is the meet-up point. A place to enjoy a beer on the patio overlooking the Fox River while you gather and prepare for the road ahead. The Dockside always offers a few good craft beers on draft and in bottles. The food is good, too. After you’ve fueled up, it’ll be time to hit the road.

Bike: Exit the Dockside parking lot onto W. 6th Ave. Follow 6th about a half mile west to Michigan St. Head north for a couple of blocks to the end of Michigan where it meets the paved Oshkosh Riverwalk.

Follow the Riverwalk northwest along the river to the Wisconsin/Ohio St. bridge. Cross over the bridge then pass through the tunnel under the bridge. this will put you in Carl E. Steiger Park. Here, you’ll join up with the Wiouwash trail.

This is where the long part of the ride really begins. We’re headed about 5.2 miles up the Wiouwash Trail to Bare Bones Brewery. You’ll probably be able to make it there in a half hour.

Follow the Wiouwash along the river where it runs beside the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Campus. At Rockwell Ave. the path turns to gravel until you reach Summit Ave. Follow Summit over Congress Ave. where it turns into Arboretum Dr. Continue about two blocks on Arboretum, then take a left onto River Mill Road.

A couple blocks down River Mill Road you’ll hook back up with the Wiouwash. Follow the Wiouwash for about a mile and continue on as it passes over Highway 41.

Now it’s easy. Just keep following the Wiouwash for about 3.8 miles. When you reach the large parking lot at County Roads S and Y, it’s time to reward yourself with a beer. Across the street you’ll see….

Beer Stop #2: Bare Bones Brewery / 4362 County Highway S
Bare Bones Brewery opened its taproom in May pouring guest beers from other Wisconsin breweries. This summer, the brewery will begin working in beers from its own brewhouse, but in the meantime, they’re doing a nice job filling their 12 taps with good beer. Here’s their current taplist.

After a couple of beers at Bare Bones, it’ll be time to get back on that saddle...

Bike: It’s dead simple from here on out. Just go back the same way you came. You have about 3.8 miles of easy pedaling ahead of you before you get your next beer at…

Beer Stop #3: Fox River Brewing Co. / 1501 Arboretum Dr.
You’ll want to plant yourself out on the patio, of course, and watch that big river slide by while you replenish your vital bodily fluids with the juice of barley and hops. Could be a good time for a snack as well. You gotta maintain your strength. The road ahead isn’t long, but it will be filled with beer.

Bike: Easy, just keep heading back the way you came. Only instead of crossing over the Wisconsin/Ohio St. bridge again, take the tunnel under the bridge. When you come through it, look straight ahead and you’ll see…

Beer Stop #4: Mahoney's Restaurant & Bar / 30 Wisconsin St.
This is another perfect spot for bikers. Mahoney’s has good food, a nice selection of craft beer on draft and a comfortable patio looking out onto Wisconsin St. and to the river.

Bike: After you leave Mahoney’s, follow Marion Rd. (which is just behind Mahoney’s) for about a block.  Marion Rd. will take you back onto the Oshkosh Riverwalk where it hugs the north bank of the Fox River. After a couple of minutes on the seat of your bike you’ll arrive at…

Beer Stop #5: Becket’s / 2 Jackson St.
Just what you need: 15 draft lines pouring great beer, a terrific menu to choose from, and a sunny patio looking out onto the Fox River. After you finish up here, it might be a good idea to walk the last leg of the trip.

Bike/Walk: The Riverwalk continues on behind Becket’s ending about a ¼ mile southeast at...

Beer Stop #6: The Ground Round at River's Edge / 1 North Main St.
Things may begin to blur at this point. Don’t give in. You’ve arrived at the finish line and deserve to reward yourself with a beer. Your choices here will be somewhat limited, but you’ll be able to find something good. Plus, there’s another great patio here overlooking the river. As you settle back with your beer, bask in the glow of your accomplishment and appreciate the view. You’ve made it!

The Oshkosh Riverwalk to Wiouwash Bike & Beer Tour Interactive Map...

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