The 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail, in Iowa and Dane counties, connects Dodgeville and Madison, by way of an 1855 military route between Verona and Dodgeville. The trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks passing by agricultural lands, woods, wetlands and prairies. There are several observation platforms adjacent to the trail for viewing wildlife and other natural features. In Ridgeway, the trail passes by a historic railroad depot.
Most of the trail follows the former Chicago and North Western Railroad corridor, which has a gentle grade of only 2 to 5 percent. Between Dodgeville and Mount Horeb it runs along the top of the Military Ridge, the divide between the Wisconsin River watershed to the north and the Pecatonica and Rock River watershed to the south. Between Mount Horeb and Fitchburg, the trail goes through the Sugar River Valley.
The fairly level grade and smooth limestone and asphalt surfaces make this 40-mile trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. The 2.5-mile section between Fitchburg and Verona has been paved with asphalt suitable for in-line skating. Each bicyclist or skater age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin State Trail Pass while using the trail.
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.
The fairly level grade and smooth limestone and asphalt surfaces make most of this trail accessible to wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments. A section of the trail west of Ridgeway is off the rail corridor and has some steep inclines.
The Ice Age Trail crosses the Military Ridge State Trail corridor for a short distance near the Verona parking lot, and continues north and south through Badger Prairie County Park.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the limestone section of the tail but not the paved asphalt section between Fitchburg and Verona. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws, including traveling no more than 15 miles per hour within any of the village limits. The Military Ridge State Trail also connects to many miles of county snowmobile trails.
The trail is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed, and skiers and snowshoers must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.
The Military Ridge State Trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks. The access trail to Governor Dodge is about 2.3 miles east of Dodgeville. The access trail parallels Highway Z and then leads walkers and bikers to the Cox Hollow beach and picnic area. The Blue Mound access trail is about .75 miles west of the Village of Blue Mounds and enters the park near the campground. Both access trails have a steep grade and go uphill to the campgrounds.
Vehicle parking lots for the trail are at Highway PB east of Verona, Mount Horeb, Blue Mounds, Barneveld, Riley, and Highway YZ .2 mile east of Highway 23 near Dodgeville.
Military Ridge State Trail, P.O. Box 98, Blue Mounds, WI 53517 -- (608) 437-7393