Message from the President

2016 is a big year for Friends of Badger Trail. We will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of our group, which supports the DNR in enhancing and promoting our trail.

Much has happened during the decade FOBT has been existence. We started in 2006 embroiled in controversy. At that time work on the trail had just started. None of the paving had been done, no shelters or kiosks had been erected and the ATV crowd had designs on getting the trail for themselves.

At a meeting at Belleville High School, we helped turn out hundreds of cyclists to oppose the motorized takeover. The ATVers were few, and we won. Defeated, the ATVers never returned.

In the years that followed, Badger was paved from Fitchburg south to Purcell Road. And FOBT worked with DNR and community groups to add informational kiosks and other facilities, the most recent of which is a shelter with water, bathrooms, and picnic tables at the Monroe trailhead. A portion of the dollars that made this happen came from the trail passes purchased by cyclists.

Along the way, we even changed state rules governing use of all state trails in Wisconsin. We discovered the state had an obscure rule that prohibited use of trails between 11 pm and 6 am. We successfully led an effort to overturn that rule, and the Legislature responded by repealing it, making night riding legal.

Badger Trail has come a long way from what existed in 2006. Today in Fitchburg, a unique bicycle round-a-bout connects Badger with a multitude of state trails and bike paths radiating out in every direction. Our northern end is the nexus of cycling routes in the Madison area.

There’s more to be done. Already our efforts have led to plans for a tunnel to take Badger Trail under County Highway PD (McKee Road) in Fitchburg, to make the crossing easier and safer. We’re working to connect the Village of Oregon to the east and the community of Paoli to the west with the trail. And we want to become part of the growing national bicycle interstate system by connecting Madison with bicycle routes in Illinois and beyond.

To observe the successes of our first decade, and to learn about our vision for the years ahead, we hope you will join us at our fall membership meeting in November for a 10-year birthday observance. Watch for details on our web site.

Bill Hauda
Friends of the Badger Trail
email Bill

What's New on the Trail?

(click on photo above to go to slideshow)

"The Spooky Tunnel Ride"
October 30, 2016

Eleven hardy souls left Belleville late Sunday afternoon and pedaled toward the spooky Stewart Tunnel in search of Halloween ghouls and goblins. None being found, they celebrated with apple cider, pumpkin bread and other Halloween treats at the kiosk just south of the tunnel, then braved their way through the tunnel once again and headed back to Belleville.

Hello all Friends of Badger Trail,
Two rides coming up this weekend sponsored by the Friends of Badger Trail. Weather looks good!!!

Sat. Oct. 29, 6 PM "Haunted Mill Ride" Monroe to Orangeville, IL & back (21 miles) Meet at the Monroe Trailhead shelter for this Halloween classic. Bring your trail pass, front & rear bike lights and crazy costume.
Ride Leader: Bernie
Sun, Oct 30, 4:00 PM "Spooky Tunnel Ride" Belleville to Stewart Tunnel & back (7.5 mi.) Meet at the Trail parking lot near Library Park, Belleville. Bring the whole family for this fun, easy ride to Stewart Tunnel! Refreshments served at the kiosk just south of the tunnel. Bring your trail pass, bike light and a creative costume.
Ride Leader: Janet

Several of our Badger Friends families who signed up to become 2016 Trail Explorers have finished their rides, answered the scavenger hunt questions and submitted their journals. One of the family groups was made up of three generations of bicyclists!! You can read all about their adventures here on our
Explorer Page

And . . . it's not too late for you to sign up and become a
Trail Explorer in 2016.
Go here to find out all the Explorer details!!

Labor Day Weekend
Beautiful riding conditions over Labor Day weekend this year with LOTS of riders, walkers and joggers getting out to stretch their legs on the Badger Trail!!
Dave, left, from Madison; and Dave, right, from Milwaukee; enjoyed a stroll on the Badger Trail with their poochies Hope and Buddie. Lots of good sniffs along the trail!!

After a long afternoon ride on the Badger, Debbie loads up here bike. She just moved to the Madison area from Chicago and is having a great time exploring all the trails in the greater Dane County Area!

Jan was riding from Madison to New Glarus along the Badger and testing out a new plastic pannier her daughter made for her. She is planning to do some bicycle touring with her daughter this fall.

Retired and living in Madison, Linda spends a lot of time training on the Badger and other trails. Easy riding with no traffic problems. She enjoys bicycle touring including a flight to Australia along with her bike.

Carol, Mike, Sue and Ben were enjoying the day having ridden out to Purcell Road from Madison on ythe Badger Trail. They were considering riding to Paoli to take in the Labor Day festivities!

Go here for more Information and Registration:

Pick me up at the Border -

July 9: Ranger John discusses the Badger Trail with Chris, from Oregon, who was over riding the Badger Trail on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Chris prefers riding on trails rather than roads. Make sure you have a DNR trail pass when riding on state trails. Purchase one from the Vendors listed on our website or directly from the Friends, online!

Dad Joe, Ben in the Burley and Mom Jenny, all from DeForest, enjoy a nice ride from Madison south on the Badger. They also enjoy taking Ben out on the Military Ridge and use the trails throughout the greater Madison area to get around town.

From the City of Fitchburg . . .

Detour of Badger State Trail July 5th through July 25th

A small segment of the Badger State Trail will be temporarily closed, from the south side of the Fitchburg Business Park south to Lacy Road, to allow for the construction of a new crossing. There will be a detour along Seminole Highway during the period that the trail is closed (see link to map). It will be closed starting July 5 and is planned to be reopened on July 25. There is another planned closing in September to complete the new crossing, but the trail will be reopened during the interim period with a limestone screening surface rather than a paved surface. Warning signs will be posted in each direction to warn users of the loose gravel condition.

Additional public streets are needed to serve this area of Fitchburg, and that includes the construction of a new trail crossing. The City understands the importance of the trail system to all of its users, and the goal is to minimize the amount of time it is closed. It is also a priority to maintain safe conditions during the detour period and the interim period that it will be open during the construction activity. Thanks for your understanding.

Go here for detour map

Friends of Badger Trail Sponsored Ride
"The Tunnel Ride", 17.5 miles
Saturday, June 25
Belleville to Monticello
What a great time we all had. Included was a stop at the Stewart kiosk constructed using funds donated by members of the Friends of Badger Trail.

Hey, What happened to the rest of the riders?????

. . . and of course there was time for an ice cream stop in Monticello.

Beautiful weather, wonderful riding, great friendship and the love of biking. Hope you can join us at our next Friends of Badger Trail Sponsored ride, August 13, 'The Criss Cross Ride'

Go here for all the details!

Ride Safe,
Janet Wood
FOBT Vice President

June 1: Ever been curious and wonder about the history of one of your favorite trails, The Badger? Click the photo above to view a presentation Bill Hauda, Friends of Badger Trail President, made at a "History Sandwiched In," noon-time brown bag event sponsored by the Wisconsin History Museum on the Capitol Square.

May 28: Over Memorial Day weekend, Friends of Badger Trail Treasurer, Bernie Robertson, responded to a call of a downed limb across the trail, just south of Monroe, and took his visiting grandson Jayden along to help out. Although Jayden thought he was old enough to use Grandpa's chainsaw (posing here with a non-running machine). . .

. . . wiser minds prevailed and Jayden was happy to use a bow saw to help out. A half hour later and the Badger Trail was open again. A well earned stop for ice cream was also in order!!

Hello all Friends of Badger Trail,

I will be leading our ride on May 28, 10 AM "Badger Breakout" (15.5 mi, or 25.5 mi.) Madison to Belleville & back.

Join us for our first ride of the season and choose your distance!

Meet at the Trail kiosk on Market Place Dr, Fitchburg at 10 AM . . .

. . . for a shorter ride, wait at the Purcell Rd parking lot and we’ll pick you up at 10:30 AM!

Remember your trail pass. Hope you can join me!

Bill Hauda
FOBT President

May 25: Barbara and Monna, both from Fitchburg, take a rest break at the 'Depot' sign located on the Badger near 'Old Fitchburg'. They enjoy reading the historical markers along the trail. Both had rented B-Cycles, available around Madison for rent, and enjoyed cycling so much they purchased their own step-through bikes new last year. Barbara had not been on a bike for over 50 years!!!

Janice and Fritz, both from Fitchburg, get out on the trail several times a week. A retired real estate agent, Fritz was riding his new recumbent for the first time. They have enjoyed the Badger and other local trails for over 25 years!!!

May 21: A BEAUTIFUL, sunny, Saturday morning a large crowd of riders, of all ages, participated in the 7 mile, 2 hour long, Fitchburg Agriculture Route (FAR) Bike Tour along the Badger Trail. Stops included the McKenna Barn, the Old Cheese Factory, Stoner Schoolhouse, community gardens, Eplegaarden and an ice cream stop!!!

May 11: Fifty two students, and four teachers, from Monroe High School (grades 9-12) filled 33 bags with trash pick up along a segment of the Badger Trail between Clarno Rd and Hwy 11-81. The crew used supplies provided by the Friends of Badger Trail.

Monroe High School has designated 1 day/year as a “Day of Service” where a multitude of service oriented projects are completed by the entire student body of the high school. With a large volunteer group, a task which may take a service organization many weekends top accomplish, can be completed in a matter of hours by the students. It also exposes the students to a multitude of service organizations and what their particular mission/contribution is in the community!

Boy Scout Troop 47, from Wauwatosa recently spent a weekend biking the Badger and Sugar River Trails while on a campout to New Glarus Woods State Park. Beautiful weather provided a great riding opportunity for the 29 miles they covered which included a stop for ice cream at Gempler's in Monticello.

May 11, 2016: The Friends of Badger Trail Board held their May meeting 'al fresco' at the Monroe Trail shelter. Fellow Friends from the Monroe area added to the lively discussion.

John Arthur, WorkUnit Supervisor for the Badger and other WDNR properties in SW Wisconsin shows the board a new sign he and his staff had just installed the day of the meeting.

WDNR staff also planted several trees in the area, purchased with funds provided by the Friends of Badger Trail. It will only be a few years before this tree shown by John and Friends of Badger Trail President, Bill Hauda, will be providing shade for tired riders.

Click here for all the ride details!

Thanks to all the Friends who stopped by
to chat and bought a pass during Bike O Rama!!

The 2016 Bike-O-Rama was held March 11-13 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison and the Friends booth was a big hit. We talked to hundreds of visitors about the trail, the projects we take on, and about biking in Wisconsin! PLUS we sold over 265 Wisconsin 2016 State Trail passes to excited bikers. Remember, the Friends group gets to keep a percentage of each pass we sell to put towards projects along the trail.

Thanks again to all and Safe Biking!!!

Buy your 2016 Trail Pass online!!!

If you didn't make it to Bike-O-Rama this year, why not buy your trail pass Online from the Friends!

We are happy to announce you can now purchase your 2016 State Trail pass online from the Friends, pay for it with a credit card and have the pass mailed to you. All from the comfort of your home!

Get your pass today, online, and be ready for the first nice days of biking this spring.

And remember . . . trail passes make a GREAT gift!

Bill Hauda
President, Friends of Badger Trail

February 27: A beautiful 50 degree February Saturday brought out LOTS of bikers, joggers, and walkers including Becky, holding baby Michael, and Arian who just moved to the Madison area from San Francisco. The poochy Cody is from Mexico and experiencing his first winter!