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a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
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in state parks and forests.
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a vehicle admission sticker or state trail pass.
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to attend a nature program or event with family and friends.
Buffalo River State Trail

Hiking Bicycling ATVs UTVs Horseback Riding Pets Snowmobiling Winter Activities Hunting

  • Trail map [PDF]
  • Current conditions
  • Rail Trail: Yes
  • Length: 36 miles
  • Surface: combination of railroad ballast and limestone screenings
  • Counties: Eau Claire, Jackson, Trempealeau, Buffalo
  • Communities: Mondovi, Eleva, Strum, Osseo, Fairchild
  • State trail pass required for bicycling and horseback riding
  • Master plan
Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System
Contact information
For information, contact:
Buffalo River State Trail
W26247 Sullivan Road
Trempealeau WI 54661

Wisconsin State Park System Buffalo River State Trail


DNR Photo

LocationThis trail in west-central Wisconsin follows the scenic Buffalo River valley for 36 miles between Mondovi and Fairchild. The river, which lends its name to the trail, was named by early French explorers. They called it Riviere de Beeufs for the many bison that once inhabited the area.

The trail is built on a former railroad corridor and passes by farmlands, woods, hills and wetlands while traveling through the communities of Eleva, Strum and Osseo.

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 Pets Walking and bicycling

The trail is open all year to walking. Users enjoy observing wildlife, birding, photography and berry picking. The trail surface may not be suitable for some bicycle types, especially bikes with thinner tires. Mountain bike riders may enjoy the rougher terrain. Each bicyclist age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail. Trail passes must be purchased before riding on the trail and should be carried with you 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.

ATVs All-terrain vehicles/Utility-terrain vehicles

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and Utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) are allowed on the trail year-round. ATVs and UTVs must stay on the graded portion of the corridor. Operators must follow all Wisconsin all-terrain vehicle laws.

ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles are the only motorized vehicles allowed on the trail. dirt bikes, motorcycles and other off-highway vehicles are not allowed on the Buffalo River State Trail.

Horseback riding Horseback riding

The trail is open for horseback riding when there is not enough snow cover for a groomed snowmobile trail. Riders should use caution when meeting ATVs on the trail. Each horseback rider needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail. Trail passes must be purchased before riding on the trail and should be carried with you while using the trail.

Snowmobiling Winter activities Winter activities

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. 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 [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile web pages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

The trail is open to walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed and users must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.

Hunting Hunting

The Buffalo River State Trail corridor is open to hunting from Mondovi to Fairchild, approximately 36 miles, during the Wisconsin state parks hunting time frame. For more information, please see:


The trail is easily accessible from all directions. The entire trail, from Fairchild to Mondovi, parallels State Highway 10 from the east and west. From the north and south, Interstate 94 and State Highway 53 intersect the trail near Osseo and State Highway 93 intersects the trail in Eleva.


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Last revised: Wednesday October 02 2019