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"400" State Trail

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General Information

As autumn progresses, so does the outstanding maeve beauty of Joe Pye Weed
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
As autumn progresses, so does the outstanding maeve beauty of Joe Pye Weed
Description - The 400 State Trail is located between Reedsburg and Elroy on abandoned Chicago-Northwestern Railway line. The trail is very aptly named. The old locomotive route traveled 400 miles between the cities of Chicago and Minneapolis / St. Paul taking only 400 minutes. Today the trail's headquarters is located in a rustic, historic depot in Reedsburg. The trail was dedicated June, 1993.

The 22-mile segment is part of the 101-mile Wisconsin State Trail System that incorporates five trails. The 400 State Trail runs between Elroy and Reedsburg, Bike4Trail runs from Reedsburg to Trempealeau connecting with Elroy-Sparta State Trail, LaCrosse River State Trail, and Great River State Trail, terminating north of Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. Omaha Trail, running north from Elroy to Camp Douglas along a paved surface, offers an additional 13 miles.

Attractions - Tour biking is the primary warm-weather recreation enjoyed along the 400 State Trail. Hiking is permitted as well. Comprised of a crushed limestone surface with planked bridge crossings, the trail accommodates riders and hikers of all ages. It's not unusual to see tots either being pulled in carriers or tooling along by themselves on trainers. Trail passes required for bikers and horseback riders 16 years of age and older.

Conveniently located along the 22-mile trail are several quaint towns where trailblazers may stop for refreshments and services. The towns include Union Center, Wonewoc and La Valle.

Like many of the country's rail-trails, the entire length follows the river valley passing wetlands, sandstone outcroppings, rolling farmlands and repeated views of the scenic Baraboo River. Wildflowers are abundant along the path. Keep an eye out for the dazzling black-eyed Susans, mullein and New England asters. A special feature of this trail is the 7-mile parallel segment developed especially for equestrians. The horse path runs between Wonewoc and La Valle.

Snowmobilers use the route during winter months.

Recreation - The "400" trail is open to hikers, bikers, and snowmobiles.

Climate - Southwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - The "400" trail travels between Elroy and Reedsburg. The headquarters is located in Reedsburg in a historic depot.

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More Information

Contact Information:
"400" State Trail, c/o P.O. Box 99 , Ontario, WI, 54651, Phone: 608-337-4775

Additional Information:
Southwest Wisconsin - Southwestern Wisconsin is well known for the Norwegian descendants that farm the region and maintain many Scandinavian traditions.
Wisconsin State Trails -

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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