Looking for the best trails around Madison?

Explore the best rated trails in Madison, WI. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Levee Trail (Portage) and Lower Yahara River Trail. With more than 52 trails covering 513 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

Recent Trail Reviews

Baraboo Riverwalk

Nice but very short

June, 2023 by timbee205_tl

If you're going to Baraboo for Circus World, don't miss this short, beautiful trail along the river. There are parks on either end. You have to ride on sidewalks near the downtown area & past CW. I stretched it out to 13 miles by going on city streets & doubling back for a ways.

If you need a break from the waterparks at the Dells this is a short drive on 4 lane road. I read the book "Ringlingville" and this trip made it come alive. This is probably not a "destination" trail but worth it if you're in the area.

Peace Trail

Love it!

May, 2023 by prinner02

Thank you to all involved in the creation of this trail! A beautiful ride with open country/shaded paved paths with some road driving but it’s a very nice ride!

Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail

Wooded trail along river

May, 2023 by rdecabooter

This is a stunning shady trail along a small river. You will hike or bike over several wooden footbridges. Stepping stones can take you over the river if you’re on foot. Mostly flat with a few elevation changes. A couple of road crossings. Great trail for kids. Gets very busy on weekends.


Pheasant Branch Conservancy Trail

Beautiful scenery but can get busy

May, 2023 by rdecabooter

Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a wonderful place to bicycle, run, walk or go birding. The scenery is gorgeous. Part of the path runs along a creek and you bike over wooden footbridges. You may see cranes, geese, turkeys, deer or pheasants. Be sure to see the eagles’ nest! The bike path is great for all ages. Not a lot of elevation changes. It does get very busy on the weekends with families.

Pine River Trail

Enoyable ride thatmight take a bit more effort

May, 2023 by czuprync

Rode the Pine River Trail from Lone Rock to Richland Center and back yesterday. It was an enjoyable ride with a couple caveats. The trail is set up more for snowmobilers than bicyclists. In general, this is not an issue. Going out of Lone Rock the trail is crush rocked with grass in the middle. Not a problem to pedal. You will ride through various types of scenery. There is a prairie with cacti between Lone Rock and Gotham, a unique sight in WI. The trail is along the Pine River, and its inlets and oxbow ponds, for much of the way. There are quite a few wooden bridges.

But at around the 9-10 mile mark we encountered equipment working on the trail. Basically, first they tilled it, which resulted in loose sand and dirt that was impossible for me to pedal through. So, we walked for a half mile or so. We then encountered a machine compacting the ground, which made it rideable again. Near Richland Center the trail is paved as it goes through parkland along the river. Had a great lunch at RC Tacos on the west end of town. We were able to pedal all the way back on the return trip, although it was a bit slow going in some stretches.

Overall, I recommend the trail, but be aware it is a bit rougher than some. Best ridden on a hybrid or mountain bike. You will likely have it much to yourself.

Great Sauk State Trail

Amazing, can’t wait to go back

May, 2023 by jdecleene26

All paved, beautiful views

Pine River Trail

Won’t return

May, 2023 by jilldecleene

Most of this trail is a farm backroad- sand, bumpy, uncomfortable. We parked in Richland Center and good thing we did, because when we reached Lone Rock, there was ZERO. Richland Center did have nice parking and a community center where you can rest with a park and restrooms inside.

Sugar River State Trail

Monticello Sugar River Bakery

May, 2023 by mverhulst

This is well worth riding off the trail with true home made baked goods. I had the best sugar donut in years. Monticello and New Glarus make this trail one to visit.

Badger State Trail

Trail Open North of Monroe

May, 2023 by tdbirch

I've contacted the Wisconsin DNR and received this update on the Monroe closure:

"Tracy – Thank you for your interest in the Badger State Trail. The Badger State Trail is fully open from north of Monroe, with only one detour around the tunnel near Belleville.

Last year a bridge was damaged and we were forced to close a section of the Badger State Trail due to this. This bridge has been removed and an at grade crossing installed. This was likely the area they were mentioning in the trail review."

400 State Trail

We cycled seven Rails to Trails in five days including the 400 State Trail

May, 2023 by newellmk

Wisconsin Bike Trip Report - Cycle Seven Rails to Trails in Five Days: In August 2022, our group of 11 went on a self-guided partially supported bike ride covering seven Rails to Trails in Central Wisconsin near La Crosse, Sparta and Eau Claire. Turned out to be an amazing trip with great weather, except the last day during which it rained. Great variety of environments and trails, including some short bridges and long tunnels, shaded woodlands and bright prairie. Attached is a pdf detailing the logistics and planning we carried out to make the trip happen. TrailLink.com has great description of each individual trail. Over five days of riding we covered:
1. Elroy-Sparta State Trail
2. Great River State Trail
3. La Crosse River State Trail
4. 400 State Trail
5. Red Cedar State Trail
6. Chippewa River State Trail
7. Old Abe Trail
For a 5 page pdf summary document of our trip with maps and logistics, see: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mk5DYWU-LirXlXT9_B3R6ZbDn4Iautr_/view?usp=sharing

Cheese Country Recreation Trail

Good ride with the right bike.

May, 2023 by eagleswing

If you ride on skinny high pressure tires and wear a lot of lycra, this trail may not be for you as other reviews indicate. However if you ride a mountain bike with good suspension and are reasonably fit, (I'm 63) it's a nice ride. There are always one or two jerks on ATVs but the vast majority slow down and give a friendly wave as they go past. I recommend weekday travel.

Stone Bridge Trail

love this path!

May, 2023 by ktgirlf21

I run/walk/ride it weekly! Peaceful, beautiful and flat!

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