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Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Three railroad tunnels which are each over 140 years old highlight the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. The tunnels near Kendall and Wilton are each about 0.25 miles long. The tunnel between Norwalk and Sparta is 0.75 miles long. Flashlights and jackets are recommended in the tunnels. The tunnels are dark and cool, even on the brightest days and water from springs above can trickle onto the trail. Bikers should walk bikes through the tunnels. The tunnels are closed annually from Nov. 1 to April 30. 

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is directly linked to two other state trails. A bridge over Interstate 90 in Sparta connects the La Crosse River State Trail to the Elroy-Sparta State Trail on the west end and the 400 State Trail connects to the trail at Elroy Commons on the east end. There is also a connection at Elroy Commons to the 13-mile Omaha County Trail. The Omaha trail travels between Elroy and Camp Douglas, near Mill Bluff State Park. The Omaha trail features a shorter rock tunnel that is about two blocks long.

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.

Walking and bicycling

The level grade and limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers.

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.


Camping at Elroy-Sparta State Trail


The Elroy-Sparta State Trail (and campground areas) are open to hunting during the Wisconsin state parks hunting time frame. For more information, please see:

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 tunnels are closed in winter and there are marked snowmobile routes to go around the tunnels.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails are 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 are 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 webpages [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.