- Military Ridge State Trail
- Trail map
- Current conditions
- Rail trail: Yes
- Length: 40 miles
- Surface: asphalt - 2.5 miles; crushed stone - 37.5 miles
- Counties: Dane, Iowa
- Communities: Dodgeville, Ridgeway, Barneveld, Blue Mounds, Mount Horeb, Klevenville, Riley, Verona, Fitchburg
- State trail pass required for bicycling and in-line skating
- Master plan
- Contact information
- For information, contact:
Military Ridge State Trail
4350 Mounds Park Road
Blue Mounds WI 53517
Wisconsin State Park System Military Ridge State Trail
The 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail, in Iowa and Dane counties, connects Dodgeville and Madison by way of an 1855 military route between Verona and Dodgeville. The trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks passing by agricultural lands, woods, wetlands and prairies. There are several observation platforms adjacent to the trail for viewing wildlife and other natural features. In Ridgeway, the trail passes by a historic railroad depot.
Most of the trail follows the former Chicago and North Western Railroad corridor, which has a gentle grade of only 2 to 5 percent. Between Dodgeville and Mount Horeb it runs along the top of the Military Ridge, the divide between the Wisconsin River watershed to the north and the Pecatonica and Rock River watershed to the south. Between Mount Horeb and Fitchburg, the trail goes through the Sugar River Valley.
The Military Ridge State Trail is near the connection of the Capital City and Badger state trails in Fitchburg. There's also a new 6-mile trail, the Shake Rag Trail, along US Highway 151 between Dodgeville and Mineral Point.
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, bicycling and in-line skating
The fairly level grade and smooth limestone and asphalt surfaces make this 40-mile trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. The 2.5-mile section between Fitchburg and Verona has been paved with asphalt 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 National Scenic Trail
The Ice Age Trail crosses the Military Ridge State Trail corridor for a short distance near the Verona parking lot and continues north and south through Badger Prairie County Park.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the limestone section of the tail, but not the paved asphalt section between Fitchburg and Verona. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The Military Ridge State Trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). 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.
The Military Ridge State Trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks. The access trail to Governor Dodge is about 2.3 miles east of Dodgeville. The access trail parallels County Highway Z and then leads walkers and bikers to the Cox Hollow beach and picnic area. The Blue Mound access trail is about 0.75 miles west of the Village of Blue Mounds and enters the park near the campground. Both access trails have a steep grade and go uphill to the campgrounds.
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 trail property in the town of Ridgeway 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.
Verona: Parking is available at the trailhead at County Highway PB, just off of State Highway 151.
Mount Horeb: Parking is available at the trailhead in downtown Mount Horeb.
Ridgeway: Parking is available near the restored railroad depot in Ridgeway.
Dodgeville: Parking is available at the western end of the trail in Dodgeville at the DNR center at 1500 N Johns St and about 0.25 miles east of Highway 23 on County Highway YZ.
Riley, Blue Mounds and Barneveld: Parking is available in these communities along the trail.