Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Sugar River State Trail Celebrates 50 Years

Anniversary Celebration Oct. 14

By - Oct 7th, 2022 09:01 am

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sugar River State Trail on Friday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at the trailhead at the New Glarus Depot in New Glarus. Celebrate this anniversary with short announcements from local officials and trail partners, followed by a bike ride and refreshments provided by the New Glarus Chamber of Commerce.

“For 50 years, the Sugar River State Trail has hosted bicyclists, walkers, runners and snowmobilers from New Glarus, Green County, Wisconsin and beyond. Our state trails allow us to expand our horizons and enjoy exploring new places or familiar places from a different perspective,” said Steve Schmelzer, Wisconsin State Park System Director. “The Sugar River State Trail will continue to provide abundant opportunities for locals and tourists for many more years to come.”

The Sugar River Trail is a year-round multi-use trail that goes 24 miles from New Glarus to Brodhead in Green County. Parking, trailheads and restrooms are located in New Glarus, Monticello, Albany and Brodhead.

The trail is named for the river it follows and showcases fourteen trestle bridges, including one covered bridge over Norwegian Creek. It passes by farmlands, woods, rolling hills, remnant prairies and exposed rock cliffs. The trail follows the path of the abandoned Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad line that was constructed in the 1880s and purchased by the state of Wisconsin in 1972.

In 1974, the Sugar River State Trail was designated a National Recreational Trail. It also includes a segment of the Ice Age National and State Scenic Trail. A short connector trail links visitors from the Sugar River Trail to the New Glarus Woods State Park.

The Sugar River State Trail is one of several Wisconsin state park properties celebrating significant anniversaries this year. Tower Hill State Park in Spring Green celebrated 100 years in July, Kinnickinnic State Park in River Falls celebrated 50 years earlier this year, and in October, Natural Bridge State Park in North Freedom celebrates 50 years and Aztalan State Park in Lake Mills celebrates 75 years.

A Wisconsin State Trail Pass is encouraged but not required for this event. Participants meet at the New Glarus Depot. Bike helmets are encouraged. The event will conclude by 4:30 p.m. No RSVPs are required.

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