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
Friends of the Badger Trail

What's New on the Trail?

May 12, and a beautiful evening to dedicate the new Monroe Trailhead building, a projet the Friends of Badger Trail helped fund. Go here to see all the photos!

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!!