Find
a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
Camping opportunities
in state parks and forests.
How to buy
a vehicle admission sticker or state trail pass.
Get Outdoors!
to attend a nature program or event with family and friends.
Badger State Trail

Hiking Bicycling In-line skating Pets Snowmobiling Winter ATVing Winter Activities Ice Age Trail

Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System
Contact information
For information, contact:
Badger State Trail
W5508 CTH NN
New Glarus WI 53574
608-527-2335

Green County Trail Information Line
608-527-2910

Wisconsin State Park System Badger State Trail

Tunnel on the Badger State Trail.

DNR Photo

LocationThe Badger State Trail travels 40 miles between Madison and the Wisconsin-Illinois border while traversing farmlands, woods, rolling hills, scenic meadows, remnant prairies, ravines, glacial topography and several small communities. Highlighting the trail is the 1,200-foot long Stewart Tunnel. The tunnel is unique because it is built on a curve, and visitors cannot see the other end when first entering the tunnel. Flashlights and jackets are recommended as the tunnel is dark and cool, and water from springs above can trickle onto the trail. Bikers should walk bikes through the tunnel.

The Badger Trail connects to the Capital City, Military Ridge and Sugar River state trails, and the Madison bikeway system. In Madison, the Badger State Trail corridor continues into the city along the Southwest Path. At the Illinois border, the Badger State Trail connects to the Jane Addams Trail which continues to Freeport, Illinois.

Trail activities

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.

Hiking Bicycling In-line skating Pets Walking, bicycling and in-line skating

The fairly level grade and smooth limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. The six-mile section between Madison and Purcell Road is surfaced with asphalt and is suitable for in-line skating. Each bicyclist or skater age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail.

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.

Ice Age Trail Ice Age National Scenic Trail

The Ice Age Trail follows the Badger State Trail for about 3.5 miles between Purcell Road and County Highway A in Dane County.

Snowmobiling Winter ATVing Winter activities Winter activities

Snowmobiling is allowed from Purcell Road all the way south to the Illinois state line. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The Badger State Trail also connects to numerous miles of Dane and Green County snowmobile trails.

  • In Dane County the trail is open when there is over 6 inches of snow, or when the trail has a groomed base.
  • In Green County the trail is open when there is over 4 inches of snow, or when the trail has a groomed base.
  • Snowmobiles are not permitted in the Stewart Tunnel, or between Monroe and Monticello when that area is open for ATVs.

Winter All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use is allowed on the Badger State Trail with some restrictions. UTVs or "Side-by-side ATVs" are not permitted on the Badger State Trail. ATVs are allowed under the following conditions:

  • from December 1 to March 15 only;
  • from 21st Street in Monroe to Lake Avenue in Monticello only (11 miles);
  • there is less than 4 inches of snow or the trail has not been groomed for snowmobiling;
  • the air temperature is under 28 degrees Fahrenheit (F);
  • the trail surface is frozen solid;
  • no ATV use is allowed off of the trail tread; and
  • all ATVs must have a valid registration sticker.

For the most up to date conditions during winter, call the Green County Trail Information Line, 608-527-2910.

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 No Hunting No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail

Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see:

Directions

In Madison, the Southwest Path has a number of bicycle/pedestrian access points, including Randall Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, Odana Road, Midvale Boulevard, and Hammersley Road. In Fitchburg, there is a 12-car parking area at Dawley Park on Seminole Highway (0.25 miles east of the Badger State Trail on the Capital City State Trail). The southern end of the asphalt-surfaced trail is at Purcell Road, about 2.5 miles northeast of Paoli. A small parking lot is available at Purcell Road.

Library Park in the village of Belleville is next to the trail and offers five parking spaces, picnic tables, a gazebo and water fountain. Parking for the trail is also available near the Belleville Post Office.

The Badger trail connects with the Sugar River trail just south of the Sugar River trail rest area in Monticello. The rest area, near County Highways C and EE, has parking available.

Twinning Park in Monroe is next to the trail and has parking, picnic tables, shelters, ball fields and rest rooms available.

Friends group and volunteering

Department of Tourism listings

More in the area

Last revised: Friday June 28 2013