Wisconsin State Park System 400 State Trail
Wetlands, wildlife, sandstone bluffs, rolling croplands and pastures are just a few of the sights you can enjoy on the 400 State Trail as it repeatedly crisscrosses the Baraboo River. The entire length of the 22-mile trail follows along the river valley from Elroy to Reedsburg.
The trail is named for the Chicago-Northwestern passenger train that ran on this grade. The train traveled the 400 miles between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul in 400 minutes. The renovated Reedsburg Depot is the trail headquarters and the office for the Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce. The depot is used as an information center with interpretive displays and public rest area facilities.
The 400 State Trail is directly linked to two other state trails. The Elroy-Sparta State Trail connects to the 400 State Trail at Elroy Commons on the west end. There is also a connection in Union Center to the Hillsboro State Trail.
The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.
Walking and bicycling
The level grade and limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers.
The 400 State Trail is ideal for a bike and paddle trip. Sections of this former rail corridor parallel the Baraboo River. You can paddle downstream and then bike back to your starting point or vice versa. In season, shuttle service and rental is available in Wonewoc.
Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.
A unique feature of the 400 State Trail is a 7-mile horse trail parallel to the bike trail between Wonewoc and LaValle. Horses must stay on the grassy portion and are not allowed on the limestone-surfaced trail.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county, including the snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands. Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report, and local club and county snowmobile web pages and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.
The trail is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed and skiers and snowshoers must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.
No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail
Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see:
A portion of the 400 State Trail property in the town of La Valle is more than 100 yards from the trail corridor. This portion is open to hunting and trapping during the Wisconsin state parks hunting time frame.
State trail passes
State trail passes are required for bikers and horseback riders aged 16 and older. Passes are available at the Reedsburg Depot Trail Headquarters, 240 Railroad St. in Reedsburg, phone 608-524-2850 or 800-844-3507; Elroy Commons, 888-606-BIKE (2453); and other outlets in towns along the trail.
Parking is available in Elroy where the 400 State Trail connects to the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. There is also a connection to the Omaha Trail in Elroy. Parking is also available along city streets in Union Center, Wonewoc, LaValle and Reedsburg.