Sugar River State Trail

State Recreation Trail

As an adventurer on the Sugar River Trail you will pass through remnants of prairie habitat and venture into the welcome shade of many wooded areas. You will encounter riparian habitat and rolling farmland. Along the way, you could bump into a wide variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, skunks, bobcats, otters, beavers, turtles, snakes, squirrels, chipmunks and even mink. In addition, it is possible to see just about every species of bird that can be found in Wisconsin along this trail.

A portion of the Sugar River Trail (from Bump Road to Exeter Crossing Road) is also part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Along this part of the trail you will encounter terrain features laid down by the powerful glaciers that once covered Wisconsin. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail now has over 500 miles of trail open to the public. Both trails have been designated National Recreation Trails by the National Park Service.

Headquarters for the Sugar River State Trail is located in the historic New Glarus Train depot near the intersection of Railroad Street and Fifth Avenue (you can see it from Highway 69 as you come through the village). You may also get information about the trail at the Ranger Station in New Glarus Woods State Park.

All bikers (16 and over) are required to purchase a daily or season state trail user permit. Bikers on the trail are reminded that the limestone screenings on the bed of the trail are subject to damage from a number of sources including heavy rain. Bikes should be kept under control at all times and a distance of at least two bike lengths should be maintained between cyclists. Warn others before passing and be sure wear protective clothing i.e. helmets, pant-leg clips, reflective clothing for night, etc.

The 23 mile trail leads from New Glarus south through Monticello, east to Albany and then heads southeast to Brodhead. Riders heading out from New Glarus can check out the New Glarus Woods State Park where trail goers can bike, hike, picnic or even camp.

Another favorite stop along the way is the Clarence Covered Bridge located between Albany and Brodhead.

Local campgrounds in the vicinity of the trail include Crazy Horse Campgrounds in Brodhead and Sweet Minnihaha in Albany.

For more information on fun things to do in Wisconsin check out Moon Handbook on Wisconsin, which features information about trips along the Sugar River Trail.