Madison and Milwaukee are the state’s two largest cities – it only makes sense to have a cohesive, connected trail to connect the two metropolitans. Residents and visitors of Madison have utilized the beautiful Capital City trail that winds around Madison’s lakes and downtown while reaching more suburban areas. Meanwhile, the 52-mile Glacial Drumlin trail draws users from all over the state with trailheads in Cottage Grove and Waukesha.
Connecting these two trails would be an important piece of the puzzle to connecting Madison and Milwaukee. Most cyclists agree that the most challenging aspect of the trek from Milwaukee to Madison (and back again) is the short stint between Cottage Grove and the beginning of the Capital City Trail due to the busy roads being unsafe for those on two wheels.
The desire to connect these two trails is there at every level: users, local government, county government, and state government officials and agencies are all interested in making this project happen. The largest obstacle to overcome, then, is the actual land acquisition to make this project happen. Like many trails, the project would need to utilize land currently owned by railroads – we need them to be willing and motivated to sell in order to move forward. Bike Fed is working diligently with agency, the City of Madison, and Dane County officials to get these conversations moving forward.
As local, county, and state officials are working behind the scenes to move forward, letting those who represent you at every level know the importance of this project is always helpful. Keeping this project on the front burner will help us more quickly overcome the obstacles the project is facing.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
City of Madison