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?




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!!


In mid November, very productive fall meeting of the executive committee was held producing many new ideas for the coming year, including a photo contest. Fitchburg Alderman, Steve Arnold, attended the meeting and briefed the group on what was happening in the City of Fitchburg regarding bicycles, trails and tours. See you at Bike-O-Rama!


Bernie Robertson and Tom Hansen, two of the 2014 Trail Explorers that were able to make it to the meeting, are presented with certificates, patches, water bottles and gift certificates for completing the whole tour.


hauntedmillride


meeting agenda


Martha and JoAnne, from Madison, were spotted Tuesday just starting their ride on the Badger Trail in Fitchburg, heading to New Glarus for a two day holiday. They were looking forward to great cycling weather, great lodging and wonderful food!


Four lifelong friends from Darlington, who get together for an activity once a month, chose a bike trip during the month of August. Starting in Belleville, they biked down the Badger Trail to New Glarus and had a great lunch, dining 'al fresco', at Tofflers Pub and Grill before heading back north. They enjoyed their biking adventure so much they are thinking of planning another!



moon

Sunday, August 10 - Monticello to Monroe & back (21 miles). We'll leave Monticello Depot at 7 PM and head south to Monroe Trailhead Shelter. The sun sets at 8:06 PM so bring a headlight and tail light for your bike. And remember your trail pass. Ride leader will be Janet Wood, FOBST Vice President. There's still plenty of time to become a 2014 Trail Explorer, so join us on August 10!


Jim and Karen, from Virginia, were recently spotted on the Badger and are hiking as much of the Ice Age Trail as they can by August 18th when they need to be in Minneapolis. They flew to Sturgeon Bay on the first of June and have been hiking ever since. Heading south through the Kettle Moraine they have now started their northwest trek using parts of the Sugar and Badger Trails. Hiking about 12-13 miles a day, they camp along the way and stay in a motel or inn every once in a while. Jim is a retired University sociology professor and has hike the Appalachian Trail 3 times. Karen has accompanied Jim on hikes to Death Valley and the top of Mt Katahdin in Maine!


The BFF Book Club from Oregon was out for a nice ride on the Badger Trail on June 17th, the morning after the big storm, heading from Oregon to Fitchburg for lunch at Panera. They are currently reading 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed. The club is in the process of putting up a 'little library', near the middle school in Oregon. Read on!


Robyn and her daughter Della were out enjoying a beautiful morning walk on the Badger Trail with their two Labradoodles. The trail is perfect for not only biking but hiking and walking too. And . . . no bugs yet!


This happy group of riders has been getting together as a group, during Father's Day weekend, for 23 years in New Glarus area and biking the local trails! They are predominantly from the Chicago area but did have riders from as far away as Kansas this year. They were headed to Belleville and then returned to New Glarus to enjoy the Polka Fest and all it had to offer!


Over sixty Boy Scouts attended a jamboree in Monticello over Father's Day weekend, camping out, scaling a climbing wall and biking on the Badger Trail. A group on Saturday biked to Monroe, enjoyed the downtown square, and returned to Monticello.



Bernie's Full Moon / Friday the 13th Ride

Friends of Badger Trail Treasurer and ride leader, Bernie, explains to the riders the nights planned activities, including riding north from Monticello to Purcell Rd with a stop at the Stewart Tunnel and kiosk.


Part of the group heading north riding, passing under the high trestle bridge. Discussion inlcluded, "Was that really a bobcat in the field on the left?"


FOBT President Bill Hauda, second from left, assembles the group for a photo after describing one of the the Friend's building projects, the Stewart Tunnel kiosk area.


The sun set, and on the way back from Purcell Road the moon rose but it is always midnight in the Stewart Tunnel. Remember to bring a light!

If you couldn't make it to the this ride, join Bernie on his fall Haunted Mill ride, from Monroe to Orangeville, October 25th starting at 6:00pm.

Note to Jerry from Edgerton: Contact the Friends, we found the nosepiece of your sunglasses!!!




The Chicago based 'Pewter Herr Peloton' (l-r: Gary, George, Lou, Jim and Jack) were winding up their three day bicycle trip to the Madison area and the Badger Trail. Their annual trips have included: Katy Trail, MO; Great River Trail, IL; Elroy-Sparta & Omaha, WI; Root River Trail, MN; Traverse Wheelway, MI; Tunnel Hill Trail, IL; High Trestle Trail, IA. On their weekly summer rides they enjoy the Prairie Path, the Fox River Trail, the Gilman Trail, the Illinois-Michigan (IM) Canal Trail, the Old Plank Road Trail.


FOBT President Bill Hauda stops on the Badger bridge intersection, where the Cannonball, Badger and SW all come together, and explains the Cannonball paving project to a group of Sunday riders from the Madison area. They were on their way to the "World's Skinniest Music Festival" being held on the shores of Lake Monona.


Larry, third from left, and his riding friends stop near at the Stewart Tunnel kiosk for a short break during their ride from Madison to Monticello where they were planning to enjoy a nice lunch. Larry arrived at the trailhead on his motorcycle, hauling his bicycle on a custom made motorcycle bicycle rack!


A GREAT Memorial Day weekend brought lots of Friends out onto the Badger Trail. One of the best weekend riding periods of the whole spring!
Kate and John enjoyed the day by riding out from Madison and enjoying a nice lunch 'al fresco' at the Creamery Cafe located in Paoli.


Bonnie and Steve, who live on Cty A, were heading north towards Madison. Steve had quite a collection of past years trail passes!


The Purcel Rd parking lot was filled with cars, and spilling out onto Sayles Tr Road, as riders took to the Badger Trail with a wide variety of bikes.


Karen and Bob, from near Chicago, were up on the Badger for the fourth year in a row. Staying in Middleton, today they were heading south to Monticello for a nice lunch.



Friends of Badger Trail Meeting

The Friends spring meeting was recently held in Monroe and included a tour of the nearly completed shelter/bathroom building located on the trail near 14th Ave and the Bike Haus. A little landscaping needs to be done and soon it will be open for the 2014 bike season!

Interested Monroe citizens tour the nearly completed shelter/bathroom building.


FOBT Board members: (l-r), Bernie Robertson, Treasurer; Janet Wood, Vice-President; Bill Hauda, President; Larry Nelson, Secretary; Sharon Kaminecki, Director.


John Arthur, Work Unit Supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, gives the Managers Report regarding trail activity and projects.

A full agenda kept the Board busy in the conference room at the Monroe Library until it closed at 9:00pm! Draft minutes will be posted soon on the Events Page.





The City of Fitchburg will be hosting the Agriculture Past and Present Bike Tour on the Badger State Trail again this year. The bike tour will highlight the importance of agriculture to the City's and region's history, identity, and economy, and also showcase some of the City's existing agriculture enterprises/businesses.

The tour is free . . . and most importantly, ice cream, courtesy of the Fitchburg Dairy Queen, will be provided at the end of the tour.

The tour will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 17.

See flyer for the 7 mile route and all the details and the link below to register for the tour:

Event Flyer

Register for Tour

Please let me know should you need any further information.

Wade Thompson
Resource/Project Planner
Planning and Zoning Department
City of Fitchburg
Fitchburg, Wisconsin 53711-5318

Phone: 608.270.4258
Email: wade.thompson@fitchburgwi.us
Web: www.city.fitchburg.wi.us



Spring finally arrived, if only temporarily, the last weekend of March when temps climbed into the 50-60's! The warm weather brought out many riders and other critters from their winter hibernation.

Question:    How did the salamander cross the trail safely?
Answer:       With the help of Angie and Chris, from Madison, who were out
                    enjoying the Badger Trail and the nice weather on Saturday.



The Friend's Badger Trail information booth at the 2014 Bike O Rama, held in Madison, in early March was a BIG hit. Our FOBT volunteers sold over 300 state trailpasses. Thanks to all who help out staffing our booth!

Pam and Terry, from Madison, purchase two trail passes and a 2014 Friend's Family membership.


Jim, from Madison, and Debbie from London, England get the last two FOBT water bottles available with the pourchase of a trailpass at the 2014 Bike O Rama.
UPDATE: The Monroe Trailhead facility construction project should be finished by Christmas! As of December 2nd, the construction is about three quarters complete. If you would like to donate to this worthy project, please click the Donate button to the left of this column. It's easy . . . and your donation will be matched by Colony Brands!

Click the Green Arrow, above right, to see a slideshow of the construction progress!

On a clear January 4th afternoon, Gaylord, Greg and George ride the Badger Trail from Madison to Purcell Rd. The trail was clear!