Portage, WI Birding Trails and Maps

372 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Portage?

Find the top rated birding trails in Portage, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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Type
34 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

400 State Trail

22.3 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Badger State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Bannerman Trail

7 mi
State: WI
Dirt, Grass, Sand

Baraboo Riverwalk

2.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Blackhawk Path

2.3 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Cannonball Path

3.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Capital City State Trail

17 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Deming Way Trail

0.6 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

33.8 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

52 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Glacial River Trail

55.8 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Great Sauk State Trail

9.65 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Hidden Oaks Trail

0.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Concrete

Hillsboro State Trail

4.3 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Levee Trail (Portage)

2.8 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Lower Yahara River Trail

2.5 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Boardwalk

Mascoutin Valley State Trail

21 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel

Military Ridge State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

North Fork Trail (WI)

2 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Concrete
Accordion

Northwestern Trail

2.8 mi
State: WI
Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Omaha Trail

12.5 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Gravel

Pheasant Branch Conservancy Trail

4.2 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Pine River Trail

14.3 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

South Fork Trail (WI)

1.7 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Concrete

Southwest Commuter Path

5.6 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Starkweather Creek Path

3.1 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

US Highway 12 Path

10.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Upper Yahara River Trail

2.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Boardwalk

Wild Goose State Trail

34.4 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Wingra Creek Path

1.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

2 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Yahara River Bike Path

0.9 mi
State: WI
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Traveling the 400 State Trail is a numbers game. The trail’s name refers to the old Chicago and North Western Railway’s “No. 400” passenger train that zoomed through here between Chicago and St....
WI 22.3 mi Crushed Stone
Rail-trail fans know that Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta State Trail is famous for its three tunnels. The Badger State Trail, which heads south from Madison to the Illinois state line (where it connects...
WI 40 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Bannerman Trail is open but largely unimproved between the communities of Redgranite and Neshkoro on a former Chicago and North Western Railway corridor. The dirt, grass and sand surface might...
WI 7 mi Dirt, Grass, Sand
The Baraboo Riverwalk occupies nearly 3 miles of the Baraboo River's east bank. The shared use path brings residents to nature not just by bringing them closer to the river, but also by threading...
WI 2.9 mi Asphalt
Blackhawk Path offers a convenient way to traverse Shorewood Hills, a western suburb of Madison nestled along Lake Mendota. Increasing its value as a commuting corridor are plans to extend the trail...
WI 2.3 mi Asphalt
Madison’s Campus Drive Pedestrian and Bicycle Path is a short trail linking the city’s west side with the University of Wisconsin’s agricultural facilities. Both the heart of the university and the...
WI 0.8 mi Asphalt
The Cannonball Path runs on a railbanked Union Pacific corridor from near downtown Madison to Fitchburg, a southern suburb. A majority of the paved trail is complete between Madison's...
WI 3.9 mi Asphalt
The Capital City State Trail contributes to the impression that you’re never far from a bike path in the Madison area. The paved trail meanders for 17 miles from the suburb of Fitchburg in the...
WI 17 mi Asphalt
The Deming Way Trail is a recreational path along Pheasant Branch in Middleton, Wisconsin. The two-lane trail accommodates walkers, joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists. Though short, the trail connects...
WI 0.6 mi Asphalt
Utter darkness is as much a part of the scenery along the Elroy-Sparta State Trail as the views of the rolling hills and farmland. That’s because visitors pass through three hand-dug railroad tunnels...
WI 33.8 mi Crushed Stone
The 52-mile Glacial Drumlin State Trail between Cottage Grove and Waukesha provides a glimpse into the past when glaciers bore down on southeastern Wisconsin in the last Ice Age. Those gigantic sheets...
WI 52 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Glacial River Trail provides bikers, pedestrians, and in-line skaters with a 55.8-mile off-road/on-road rural route winding through farmland, prairie, wetlands, and woodlands as it passes through...
WI 55.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Great Sauk State Trail spans nearly a dozen miles connecting the communities of Sauk City, Prairie du Sac, and Merrimac. Built along the former Union Pacific Railroad, the smoothly paved...
WI 9.65 mi Asphalt
The Hidden Oaks Trail is a piece of Middleton's expanding shared use path system. It peels off from the North Fork Trail and heads east, passing the Capitol Ice Arena, into the Hinrich's Family Farm...
WI 0.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The 4.3-mile Hillsboro State Trail will make you feel instantly at home. Easy and flat, this gravel trail will take you on a short excursion from Hillsboro to Union Center. But this trail is more of a...
WI 4.3 mi Crushed Stone
As is apparent from the name, the trail sits atop a beside along the Wisconsin River. The trail is asphalt and easy to use for people of all ages and abilities. The trail begins in Edgewater Street in...
WI 2.8 mi Asphalt
Dane County's Lower Yahara River Trail offers an incredibly scenic experience in the Madison area. On its western end, the 2.5-mile paved pathway connects to the Capital City State Trail near the...
WI 2.5 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk
The Mascoutin Valley State Trail is divided into two segments along a former corridor of the Chicago and North Western Railway. The eastern section runs 10 miles between Fond du Lac and Rosendale. The...
WI 21 mi Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel
The Military Ridge State Trail finds the high ground as it rolls across 40 miles of idyllic farmland from the outskirts of Madison to the historic mining town of Dodgeville. It follows an American...
WI 40 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The North Fork Trail begins beside US-12, intersecting with Middleton's other multiuse trails: specifically the US Highway 12 Path; Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail; and the Deming Way Trail. The...
WI 2 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Accordion
The Northwestern Trail begins near the public library in downtown Ripon, a charming small town in eastern Wisconsin. History buffs may want to head a few blocks south from this endpoint to explore the...
WI 2.8 mi Dirt, Grass, Gravel
The 12.5-mile Omaha Trail passes through a wonderland of towering buttes, mesas, and pinnacles that seem more at home in an arid desert than in fertile farmland. The steep sandstone formations, some...
WI 12.5 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The Pheasant Branch Conservancy Trail forms a loop within the scenic Pheasant Branch Conservancy, a natural area containing a marsh, meadows, forest and hills. The area is home to a vast array of...
WI 4.2 mi Crushed Stone
The Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail follows a lush wooded creek through Middleton, a northwestern suburb of Wisconsin’s state capital. Its east end is anchored by the beautiful Pheasant Branch...
WI 1.4 mi Asphalt
The Pine River Trail winds on an abandoned railroad corridor between Richland Center and Lone Rock in scenic Richland County. Trail users are treated to stunning views of river bluffs, marshland and...
WI 14.3 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The South Fork Trail is a multipurpose recreation path in the City of Middleton, a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. It winds east to west, from beneath US-12/14 to the Pleasant View Golf Course. The...
WI 1.7 mi Asphalt, Concrete
All it takes is a short ride on Madison’s 5.6-mile South  west Commuter Path to understand the critical role it plays in getting people around town. Not only does it pass within a mile of the State...
WI 5.6 mi Asphalt
The Starkweather Creek Path traces the waterway north from the Capital City State Trail through Madison’s eastern neighborhoods of Starkweather, Worthington Park, Eken Park and Carpenter-Ridgeway. The...
WI 3.1 mi Asphalt
The US Highway 12 Path offers a convenient, non-motorized alternative to traveling on the highway. The paved pathway begins in Middleton and heads northwest paralleling the roadway, separated from...
WI 10.9 mi Asphalt
In south-central Wisconsin, the Upper Yahara River Trail connects the communities of DeForest and Windsor along a beautiful wooded waterway. Buffered by neighborhoods, the trail offers residents an...
WI 2.9 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk
The Wild Goose State Trail is a premier rail-trail, spanning approximately 35 miles in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties. If you are looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to visit, this trail has it...
WI 34.4 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The Wingra Creek Path—also known as the Wingra Bike Path—runs along the winding waterway in Madison. The trail provides a critical link from the neighborhoods south of downtown Madison to the Capital...
WI 1.9 mi Asphalt
The Wolf Run Trail supports a wide variety of users on its two miles of crushed gravel, situated on the outskirts of Mazomanie in northwestern Dane County. Heading southeast from the charming...
WI 2 mi Crushed Stone
The Yahara River Bike Path, on the northeastern side of Madison, is anchored by Tenney Park on one end and the 17-mile Capital City Trail on the other. From one recreational amenity to the other, the...
WI 0.9 mi Asphalt

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

History at its best tunnels and all!

July, 2021 by j.mac_tl

Been coming here since 1974. It’s nice to see that the trail is still open and being somewhat well taken care of! The best campground to stay at is Tunnel trail campground! So if your staying please contact Julie and Scott for continuing the legacy of their father and mothers hard work and dedication to making the campground and the trail experience so amazing! John Mc

Military Ridge State Trail

Blue Mound to Dodgeville

July, 2021 by drprovanch

We camped at Blue Mound State Park and biked the first day to Dodgeville. The camp is at mile marker 22, so 36 miles round trip. Great scenery as the elevation is high: distant farmlands, golf courses, forest,…. The trail is in great condition, winding and rolling throughout farmlands, wooded area, prairies, and small rural communities. Our return trip was in misting rain and the forecast for storms later that week canceled our plans for the eastern leg until another time.

Great Sauk State Trail

Beautiful ride!

July, 2021 by acarr6496

The prairie restoration is simply beautiful!! Many wildflowers were in bloom. This is a wonderful ride and highly recommend.

Accordion

Omaha Trail

Pretty, but a rough ride

July, 2021 by tedgrossardt

We rode this trail today south from Hustler into Elroy, so missed the Camp Douglas to Hustler portion. It is generally tree-lined, and the adjoining landscape transitions from dairy farming to wooded limestone bluffs to tunnel and then back to woods and then dairy as you approach Elroy. There are a multitude of wild flowers to enjoy this time of year, including multiple stands of the Michigan Lilly, rather rare to see along a trail.
The tunnel is the bomb. We caught it on a coolish morning so mist floated eerily into and around the tunnel. It's the length of a football field and pretty fun. Bring a flashlight or have a strong headlight so you can admire the barrel-vaulted ceiling.
The trail itself leaves a lot to be desired. It's old chip seal that has deteriorated into a bumpy-lumpy surface that is much rougher than a conventional packed gravel such as the Katy Trail in Missouri. We kept our speed down to about 8 mph, but by the time we returned, we were pretty beaten up. It is in fact the roughest rail-trail we've ridden on yet.
Elroy has nice bike facilities, with a sort of 'bike park' that includes restrooms, picnic facilities, bike racks, and a retail bike shop, which is a nice change. However, there was almost no food on this day. We resorted to the single open bar in town for the usual beer and burger.
My advice: If you're not prepared for a bumpy ride, then just ride the trail from Hustler (or Elroy) the few miles down to the tunnel, enjoy the tunnel, and then return and spend the rest of the day on another trail.

Hillsboro State Trail

A bonus if you are in the area

July, 2021 by mbollom

Of the four trails near Elroy (Elroy-Sparta, The 400, Omaha, and this one) it is the least impressive and it really needs to be resurfaced. That said, Hillsboro is a lovely little town with good food and a nice hotel. I used the trail to create a loop via The 400, The Elroy-Sparta Trail (at Kendall) that included amazing road riding (but very hilly). I peddled on County Roads W, WW and F. The scenery was fantastic and there were very few motor vehicles on the roads.

Omaha Trail

Under publicised Gem

July, 2021 by mbollom

The Omaha Spur also connects in Elroy to the Elroy-Sparta and The 400 Trail. It is not as widely promoted as it is run by the country government (not the DNR), but it has its own tunnel and it is largely paved so the ride is faster. Nice rest area just to the east of the tunnel with toilets and. water pump.

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Simply fantastic riding.

July, 2021 by mbollom

The Elroy Sparta trail is a great experience. Some comments:
1. The first half from Sparta to Winton is the most popular part and is in the best shape.
2. While it is only at a 3% grade, the first 8 miles to Tunnel 3 is consistently up hill. Coming down is more fun!
3. The last section from Kendall to Elroy is closed because is bridge is out.
Suggestion for the intrepid, take County highway W instead. It is fabulously beautiful, but the hills almost killed me!
4. It took me five hours to ride the 34 miles. I’m not a particularly slow rider, but you have to keep in mind that there are three climbs (up to the tunnels), you must walk through these tunnels and one is ¾ mile long, and riding on crushed limestone is slow
5. I only saw the water and toilets at the middle stop, so don't skip them.
6. The 400 Trail connections at Elroy, as does the Hillsboro Spur (5 miles).
7. The Omaha Spur also connects in Elroy. It is not widely promoted as it is run by the country government (not the DNR), but it has its own tunnel and it is largely paved so the ride is faster.

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Dont Miss the Tunnel

July, 2021 by deborahdebmartin

We road 30 miles on the trail, it was nicely packed down crushed rock. We were amazed at the temperature change between outside the tunnel and inside! The tunnel is such a neat experience! It’s cool in temp, dark and wet with water dripping from the top of the ceiling! Note- bikes must be walked through the tunnel, its about .75 mile, have light on your bike or a flashlight, maybe a towel to wipe off your bike and enjoy!

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

very cool trail!

July, 2021 by johunt4966

Starting in Sparta and heading towards Wilton there is a steady 3% grade - which made for a fun return journey. The trail was in good conditions with just a couple of watch outs. The two tunnels we went through were very cool - the longest one was really quite wet so be prepared and bring lights. Great places to stop and snack in both Norwalk and Wilton. Quite some shade along the trail - so good for hot sunny days!

400 State Trail

lovely day on 400 trail

July, 2021 by mcarmack12

I rode the 400 trail from Reedsburg to Elroy as the last 20 miles of my ride from Madison this morning. I am midway through a cross country ride from Maine to Washington. Very grateful for rail trails like this one! Nice to have frequent public bathrooms, hard packed gravel, and shade. Some of the bridges are quite bumpy. Beautifully maintained town campsite in Elroy!

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Trail closure in Wilton

June, 2021 by mr.al.mesa

We started out from the parking lot of the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce parking lot in Sparta. We went to Wilton, about 18.5 miles in, then turned around. Not sure why the trail was closed. We got our 37mile ride in. Trail was in great shape, very dry and we went on 6/27/21 around 11AM. Great trail! Get out there!

Omaha Trail

Omaha Trail

June, 2021 by llrogers01

Love this trail! We encountered rain in both directions, but the tree canopy, tunnel and rock formations made all the more beautiful. It was like being in a fairy garden.

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