This 14-mile limestone trail is a gorgeous offshoot from a 100-mile continuous trail corridor that includes the Great River State Trail
, La Crosse River State Trail
, Elroy-Sparta State Trail
and the 400 State Trail
The Omaha Trail's gentle surface and superb scenery make it a worthwhile trip. The county-maintained path has several unique features, starting with its surface. The limestone is sealed, making for a smoother ride than the connecting state trails. The trail also passes spectacular rock outcroppings that are not found anywhere else in Wisconsinor in most of the Midwest.
Beginning at the northern end in Camp Douglas, the trail will take you past farms and though pastures for 4 miles before reaching the small town of Hustler. This tiny community has a pleasant public park right near the trail that provides a great spot to take a breather. Leaving Hustler the trail gently rises through scenic bluffs. The type of rock in the stunning outcroppings in these bluffs cannot be found anywhere else in the midwestern United States.
At almost exactly the halfway point, you will reach the apex of your climb. This is also the entrance to a 300-foot-long tunnel. This magnificent historic railroad tunnel is one of the highlights of this trip. A small park just before the tunnel's domed entrance provides restrooms and water.
After you exit the damp, dark tunnel it is all downhill to the town of Elroy. The final 7 miles pass through sections of dense forest where you are sure to see whitetail deer, small mammals and many species of bird. You also shoot past quintessential Wisconsin farms, with their red barns and grain silos. Use caution crossing the many country roads intersecting the trail as you make your way into Elroy.
The town of Elroy is the endpoint for the Omaha trail, but here you can easily connect to both the Elroy-Sparta State Trail and the 400 State Trail. The town has many cafes and lovely shops, and it's a great place to take a break while navigating your way though this impressive western Wisconsin trail system.
To get to the Douglass Camp trailhead from Interstate 90,take Exit 55 and head south on County Road C. Take a right on Tomah Road and turn left on Bartell Street, which becomes Main Street. The trail starts right in the middle of town at the intersection of Main Street and Eddy Avenue.
The Elroy trailhead is located near the intersection of State routes 82 and 71. From this intersection follow Cedar Street east, and the trail will be on the left.