Badger State Trail
Sections of loose and falling rocks from the ceiling and side walls inside the Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail caused the DNR to close the tunnel in 2019 for safety concerns. The tunnel remains closed today. Tunnel Road provides a temporary detour for users to go around the tunnel. $6.6 million is included in the Governor’s 2023-25 Biennial Budget for repairing and re-opening the Stewart Tunnel. The DNR will initiate the project in fall 2023 for Department of Administration (DOA) approval and management (all capital development projects over $50,000 are managed by DOA). The tunnel project will proceed with repairs consistent with the scope of work described as Alternative 4 – Corrugated Metal Pipe Lining in the Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis Report.
- Rail trail: Yes
- Length: 40 miles
- Surface: asphalt - 6 miles; crushed stone - 34 miles
- Counties: Dane, Green
- Communities: Madison, Fitchburg, Basco, Belleville, Monticello, Monroe, Clarno
In Madison, the Southwest Path has several 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 a 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 restrooms available.
The trail is open year-round.
Each bicyclist or in-line skater age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail.
Management and planning
For more information about planning for this property, see Property Master Plans.
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