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.
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.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
The Ice Age Trail follows the Badger State Trail for two sections, between Purcell Road and County Highway A in Dane County, and between County Highway W to the Sugar River State Trail in Green County.
Walking, bicycling and in-line skating
The fairly level grade and smooth limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. The 6-mile section between Madison and Purcell Road is surfaced with asphalt and is 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.
Snowmobiling is allowed from Purcell Road all the way south to the Illinois state line. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The Badger State Trail also connects to numerous miles of Dane and Green County snowmobile trails.
- In Dane County the trail is open when there is over 6 inches of snow or when the trail has a groomed base.
- In Green County the trail is open when there is over 4 inches of snow or when the trail has a groomed base.
- Snowmobiles are not permitted in the Stewart Tunnel or between Monroe and Monticello when that area is open for ATVs.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails that 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.
Winter All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use is allowed on the Badger State Trail with some restrictions. UTVs or "Side--side ATVs" are not permitted on the Badger State Trail. ATVs are allowed under the following conditions:
- from Dec. 1 to March 15 only;
- from 21st Street in Monroe to Lake Avenue in Monticello only (11 miles);
- there is less than 4 inches of snow or the trail has not been groomed for snowmobiling;
- the air temperature is under 28 degrees Fahrenheit (F);
- the trail surface is frozen solid;
- no ATV use is allowed off of the trail tread; and
- all ATVs must have a valid registration sticker.
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.
No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail
Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see: