Message from the President


2015 is shaping up as an historic year for the Badger Trail. Not only will we observe the 15th anniversary of the creation of Badger, but we will also see efforts to preserve the rich history of the former rail line, now an important rail-trail.

The city of Fitchburg, where Badger intersects with four other major trails and paths, will be erecting directional signs at the confluence. Fitchburg also will be erecting additional informational historical markers along the trail, which once saw four trains a day steaming up and down the corridor carrying passengers, cattle, farm produce and goods. One marker denoting the Illinois Central depot location at what was once the “city center” of Fitchburg is already up.

The city is planning to continue its annual Agricultural Heritage Bicycle Tour along the Badger. At stops along the way, local historians and farmers join in to explain the history of this important agricultural area and the farming operations that are currently underway. There is a study in process by the city to see if this popular bike tour can be expanded and efforts taken to encourage more cyclist-friendly farm family businesses along the way.

People have noted that things are happening on Badger. I’ll be doing a presentation at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison on the origins, history and future of the Badger Trail.

It will be a busy year for the Friends group. There will be a ceremony formally opening the new trailhead facility in Monroe. Our Trail Explorer program, a fun way to learn about what lies along the trail, will be expanded. And we have a broader range of bike events coming up. Keep an eye on the web site for dates and times.

I hope to see you out among the thousands of people enjoying our trail. And I urge you to attend some of our Friends group board meetings and events, learn what we’ve accomplished over the past 15 years, and what we plan for the next decade.

Bill Hauda
President
Friends of the Badger Trail







What's New on the Trail?


Hello all Friends of Badger Trail,

I will be leading a ride on Sat, June 27, 10 AM "The Tunnel Ride" (17.5 miles) Belleville to Monticello & back. Meet at Library Park in Belleville. Join us for everyone’s favorite part of the Badger Trail – the Stewart Tunnel.

It’s dark in there so bring your bike light and remember your trail pass.

Find answers to two scavenger hunt questions and you’re that much closer to earning an Explorer Award.

Hope you can join me,

Janet Wood
Vice President



The storms that went through southern Wisconsin on Monday, June 22, caused damage in many areas . . .

. . . including knocking trees down across the Badger trail, north of Purcell Road.

Two of WDNR's finest chainsaw sawyers, Jake and Tyler, made short order of the clean up and by Tuesday the trail had been cleared and the salvage effort was under way.


Jane, from Madison, and Lisa spent a beautiful morning riding the paved part of the Badger trail from Fitchburg to Purcell Road. Lisa is originally from Wisconsin but now lives in the state of Vermont.


Bill, Tom Greg, Tom and Mike, all retired state workers, head south on the Badger to Observatory Drive and points west!


Friends of Badger Trail Treasurer, Bernie, recently led a volunteer effort to re-stain and do some minor maintenance of the Stewart Tunnel kiosk. The Friends constructed the kiosk in 2010.

Donations and percentage of the State Trail passes the Friends group sells paid for the original construction and the re-staining. Thanks to Bernie for heading up this recent maintenance project!


Kieran, on his bike, and Evelyn, in the Burley, took their mom, Kate, out on a brisk morning ride down the Badger leaving right from their home near Basco. They bike every chance they get!


Brad and Brianna, from the DNR office located at New Glarus Woods State Park, inspect the bridge decking and railings on one of the 38 bridges along the southern Badger Trail (crushed limestone section) in preparation for future repair work. Some of the repairs have already been started!


Jarno and Gene were two happy bikers, having just purchased their 2015 Wisconsin Trail passes, and were ready to hit the trail. Remember . . . you need a 2015 Wiscosnin State Trail pass to ride on state trails. Why not buy it from the Badger Trail Friends? A portion of each trail pass the group sells is used to support projects on the Badger Trail.
Go here to buy a trail pass online . . . it's easy!!!


Chris and Dave drove over from the Holy Hill area, in southeastern WI, to spend the day riding the Badger.


Dennis and Dan were spending part of a beautiful morning photographing the 1,200 foot long Stewart Tunnel, one of the more popular attractions along the Badger Trail.


Earth Day 2015: To help celebrate Earth Day, the seniors from Monroe High School used gloves and trash bags provided by the Friends group to clean up along the Badger Trail.
Go here to see all the fun!



May 12: A beautiful evening for the crowd of supporters who attending the Badger Trail Shelter Building dedication in Monroe. The Friends group was a donor to this project.
Go here to see all the festivities!




A brief mid-January warm spell brought out Gaylord, from Madison, to the Badger Trail as he enjoyed a nice ride down to Paoli and back. Lower 30's, no wind and blue sky. Almost like the middle of July!!