Located just east of Hayward off Highway 77, Hatchery Creek Loop serves as a microcosm of what Wisconsin's cycling trails offer—technical terrains, lush forests, and a challenging yet rewarding ride. Though not a course for newbies, the 9-mile loop provides a perfectly curated mid-level trail experience.
The Hatchery Creek Loop provides a multifaceted ride, encapsulating a good balance of climbs and descents. Offering a slight relief from the steeper climbs present in some Birkie ski trails, this loop is more forgiving on the legs. However, 'forgiving' doesn’t mean easy. With a medley of rocks and roots, the course keeps riders vigilant and engaged. Sections built up with small jumps offer an extra fun factor for those who dare. Throughout the years, the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) has made numerous updates to the trail, enhancing its flow and sustainability.
Cyclists agree that Hatchery Creek is a fun, challenging trail with well-maintained and marked paths. The loop takes about an hour for an average rider but can be conquered in less time by advanced cyclists. Some believe it may not be the most remarkable trail in the CAMBA network but still offers a different flavor worth experiencing, especially if planning an extended ride from Cable to Hayward. Many recommend hitting the trail in the fall for a visually rewarding ride minus the pesky mosquitoes.
Hatchery Creek Loop proves that quality can sometimes trump quantity. Though it’s only a 9-mile stretch, it packs a punch in terms of technical challenges and scenic beauty. With drinking water available at the trailhead and various connecting points for ride modification, it’s a loop that accommodates according to the time and skill riders are willing to invest. Overall, it's another feather in the cap of the CAMBA trail system, which just keeps getting better year after year.