Why Visit SPARTA??
Each year thousands visit Sparta to enjoy the trails, shopping, unique dining or just to get away and relax! Use this page to learn about what there's to do here and to help plan your Sparta Vacation! Be sure to visit www.bikesparta.com, Sparta's tourism website!
The La Crosse River State Trail runs parallel for several miles with a Canadian Pacific main line. Talk about a close-up train experience! This trail offers great picture taking of Canadian Pacific/SOO, Burlington Northern/Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Amtrak trains. If you're not a biker, you can walk down the trail and sit on one of the benches and enjoy the beautiful scenery and passing trains!
The Sparta-Elroy State Trail is considered to be the first rails to trails hiking/biking trail in America! Built from an abandoned Chicago & Northwestern main line, the trail features three amazing rock tunnels and dozens of old stone bridges. Tunnel #3, which is 3/4 of a mile long, is the longest bike trail tunnel in America! These tunnels were cut through the rolling hills of Wisconsin in the late 1800's. Only an 8 mile bike ride from Sparta, it's an experience every true railfan shouldn't miss. Older or less athletic bikers can take a shuttle to the tunnel and coast back to Sparta! (The trail has a very slight grade of less than 3%--not making it difficult to ride to the tunnel, but making it much easier to ride coming back to Sparta!)
Don't have a bike or want to bring one?? No problem! Here are a couple of bike rental shops in Sparta! They'll even shuttle you to where you want to start on the trail and you can ride back to Caboose Cabins!
At Speeds Bike Shop you can rent a wide assortment of bikes from about $15/day. Speeds is right on the trail in Sparta so you can go there and jump on either bike trail. Speeds also offers shuttle service. Speeds is only about 1/2 mile down the trail from Caboose Cabins so you can even walk to Speeds from the Caboose!
After biking you can take a short drive north to the Little Falls Railroad and Doll Museum. The museum is home to a reference library of over 1000 books and magazines. The walls are covered with railroad memorabilia for the days when steam was king. There is a telegrapher's equipment on display, lanterns from many railroads and a gallery of railroad art. Outside you can climb into a Milwaukee bay window caboose.
Some other things to do in Sparta:
Visit the Deke Slayton Space & Bike Museum
Play some golf at Sparta's fine 18 hole course
Canoe the Kickapoo River
See Amish Farmers
Go to Sparta's Official Tourism Website for more ideas!