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La Crosse River State Trail

This trail lies in the La Crosse River valley and parallels an active rail line to the north. Prairie remnants, farmland, trout streams, hardwood forests and wetlands are found along the trail. The trail passes through the communities of La Crosse, West Salem, Bangor, Rockland and Sparta.

The La Crosse River 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 east end and the Great River State Trail connects to the trail in La Crosse on the west end.

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.


There is a DNR campground in Sparta that has non-reservable sites with a self-registration station available to campers for camp fees. The campground offers campsites with a fire ring and picnic table. Hand pumps and pit toilets are available. No firewood is sold at these campgrounds and there are firewood rules to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Campsites are walk-in only and vehicles can be parked in adjacent lots. The address is at 9890 Imac Ave. In Sparta, turn south on John Street. John Street turns into Igloo Road. After crossing under Interstate 90, turn left on Imac Avenue to the campground.

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.

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 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.

No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail

Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see: