To Illinois and Back via the Badger State Trail—Cycling
A perfect getaway on a gravel trail only miles from the center of Madison!
If starting from Hammersly Road and the Southwest Commuter Trail (where there is ample parking), it will be 82 miles to the border and back. If starting from a location near downtown (at the start of the SW Commuter Trail), the total mileage will be closer to 95.
Destination Distance From Downtown
Some might classify this as a one star for difficulty since the trail is primarily flat, however, because most of it is crushed limestone, and because of the distance, two stars would be more appropriate.
Time To Complete
If riding from Madison, to the Illinois border and back, give yourself seven to eight hours to complete the round trip with a couple brief stops. If only going to the tunnel and back, it should take you less than four hours.
Spring, Summer, and Fall
Spring can bring a soft and sloppy trail. If riding this trail after heavy rains, know that your pace will slow significantly. Fall often brings hard packed and fast conditions, but look out for fallen black walnuts.
On Leash Only
A daily trail fee of $4.00 is mandatory or a one year trail pass, which works on all WI state trails is available for $20.00/year. Payment kiosks are set up in several places along the trail. Checks or cash are accepted.