Description - The 39.6-mile Military Ridge State Trail travels between Dodgeville and Fitchburg. From Dodgeville to Mount Horeb, the route follows Military Ridge, an old military road built in 1855. This stretch is very rich in history and panoramic views of open farmlands and wooded slopes. The trail peaks out near Blue Mounds, 1,300 feet elevation. The trail's low elevation is approximately 930 feet located between Riley and Verona. Most of the trail has a limestone screening base; an asphalt stretch runs between County PB (east of Verona) to County PD (Fitchburg). At this juncture, a short on-road excursion links to Capital City Trail then on to Madison Trails. The trail makes 48 bridges crossings.
- Military Ridge State Trail follows the abandoned Chicago and Northwestern Rail line, which has a gentle grade of 2 - 5%. The trail is broken into two segments by a 7.6-mile stretch between Barneveld and Ridgeway. About midway, Blue Mound State Park makes a great stopping point. The state park is known for its great biking, nature programs, scenic views, large swimming pool, picnic facilities, variety of hiking trails, and enjoyable campground. Camping also is available at Governor Dodge State Park. It is Wisconsin's second largest state park (Devil's Lake is No. 1) showcasing 5,270 scenic acres of steep hills, bluffs, and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall. This state park has two family campgrounds with 269 campsites of which 77 have electric hookup. Twenty campsites are maintained for winter campers.
Minutes away are area attractions including: Mt. Horeb, featuring locally crafted products, art pieces, and antiques; Cave of the Mounds, guided underground cave tour of one of the Midwest's most significant caves (open mid-March thru mid-November); Little Norway, guided tour of an authentically furnished pioneer log buildings Norwegian homestead immigrants built in the 1850s (open May thru October); Song of Norway, Outdoor performance at the Cave of the Mounds; and the Wisconsin Folk Museum, exhibits of regional folk art.
Recreation - Trail users include hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
Climate - Southeast 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 Southeast Region can range from 20 - 50". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.
Military Ridge State Trail runs from Dodgeville to Fitchburg.