Badger State Trail

Belleville, Wisconsin

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Hike the highlights of southern Wisconsin’s latest and arguably greatest rails-to-trails effort as it passes along the line between glaciated and unglaciated terrain, plunges into the dark of a long tunnel, and crosses the Sugar River. Badgers are burrowing creatures, so when European immigrant miners came to south-western Wisconsin—then a territory—for the lead-mining boom in the early 1800s, the seeds were laid for the state’s nickname, the Badger State. This hike might make a badger out of you as well because it passes through a 1,200-foot tunnel through an unglaciated hill. The Badger State Trail was inaugurated in July 2007 and is a fantastic conversion of rail bed that connects Madison to the Illinois state border and that state’s trail system. If you like the hike, come back with your bike and take it from where it begins in Madison, connected as it is to the Capital City State Trail and Southwest Path.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Madison

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60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Madison

by Kevin Revolinksi (Menasha Ridge Press)

Hike the highlights of southern Wisconsin’s latest and arguably greatest rails-to-trails effort as it passes along the line between glaciated and unglaciated terrain, plunges into the dark of a long tunnel, and crosses the Sugar River.

Badgers are burrowing creatures, so when European immigrant miners came to south-western Wisconsin—then a territory—for the lead-mining boom in the early 1800s, the seeds were laid for the state’s nickname, the Badger State. This hike might make a badger out of you as well because it passes through a 1,200-foot tunnel through an unglaciated hill. The Badger State Trail was inaugurated in July 2007 and is a fantastic conversion of rail bed that connects Madison to the Illinois state border and that state’s trail system. If you like the hike, come back with your bike and take it from where it begins in Madison, connected as it is to the Capital City State Trail and Southwest Path.

© 2015 Kevin Revolinksi/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Belleville
Distance: 18
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 8 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 850 feet
Top Elevation: 1,050 feet
Local Contacts: dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/badger
Local Maps: USGS Belleville and Monticello; badger-trail.com
Driving Directions: Directions to Badger State Trail

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May 2018