Black Hawk Ridge

Madison, Wisconsin 53718

Black Hawk Ridge

Black Hawk Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"In July 1832, Fox and Sac warriors led by Chief Black Hawk ambushed pursuing soldiers on the north end of this state property. That well-executed maneuver gave 1,200 starving Fox and Sac children, women, and elders enough time to escape across the Wisconsin River. Today, Black Hawk Ridge has a quiet trail system featuring fine views of the Wisconsin River Valley.

Often you may be the only person in the park as you hike this system of trails through hardwood forest and a good portion of wildflower-filled prairie as you climb to the top of a bluff with views of the Wisconsin River Valley."

Black Hawk Ridge Reviews

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icon4 Total
The campground/farm that this belongs to has gone out of business. The road to the trail is blocked. One could circumvent the log, but we were too law abiding. Recommend this be removed from the database.
We chose to run on this trail which somewhat impacts my rating on this trail. The trail was not even enough for a good run. The parts which were shared with snow mobiles were definitely not meant for a quick run. If you are a hiker or if you just want to go for a slow jog the solitude of these trails is awesome. Look for the deer and elk......makes for a great adventure. Do not miss the Castle Rock at the top of one of the trails. Continue to the backside of the rock and there is a platform which you can climb to and stand on. This platform puts you above the tree line......360 view forever it seems.......definitely a must part of the entire day!
The trail is located in a beautiful area, but with the amount of trees, the views aren't what they could be. There is one overlook that looks northward toward Sauk City and the Wisconsin River, with some partial views of the river to the West. If you have a trail map and/or a GPS it's a little easier to figure out your location, but the trail could use a better marking system. If you follow the trail to it's easternmost point, you come upon a large picnic area on a quiet hilltop, a nice place to stop for lunch. It might look a lot better at another time of the year, as there are a few meadows where wildflowers might be seen. There were many signs of deer, but we didn't see any. We did hear a lot of wild turkeys, but did not see any. Overall a good hike, but not great.
We found that the trail was poorly marked. At one point we went around in a circle. Some areas there were very few markers and another area there were too many markers (inconsistent).

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3.5 hours
April - October
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, 202 N. Wisconsin Ave., Muscoda, 53573; (608) 739-3188;
Local Contacts
USGS Black Earth; Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Black Hawk Unit map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018