Portage, WI Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

299 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Portage?

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

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Activities
Length
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16 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

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

33.8 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

53.4 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Glacial River Trail

55.8 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Hillsboro State Trail

4.3 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Mascoutin Valley State Trail

21 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel

Military Ridge State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Northwestern Trail

2.8 mi
State: WI
Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Omaha Trail

12.5 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Gravel

Southwest Commuter Path

5.6 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Starkweather Creek Path

3.1 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

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
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
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 53-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 53.4 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 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
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 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
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 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

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Trails by activity

Glacial River Trail

WI - 55.8 miles

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...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

Hillsboro State Trail

WI - 4.3 miles

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...

Southwest Commuter Path

WI - 5.6 miles

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...

Accordion

Starkweather Creek Path

WI - 3.1 miles

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...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

Wild Goose State Trail

WI - 34.4 miles

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...

Wingra Creek Path

WI - 1.9 miles

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...

Northwestern Trail

WI - 2.8 miles

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...

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

WI - 33.8 miles

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...

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

WI - 53.4 miles

The 53-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...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

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...

400 State Trail

WI - 22.3 miles

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....

Omaha Trail

WI - 12.5 miles

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...

Wingra Creek Path

WI - 1.9 miles

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...

Southwest Commuter Path

WI - 5.6 miles

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...

Glacial River Trail

WI - 55.8 miles

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...

Hillsboro State Trail

WI - 4.3 miles

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...

Accordion

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

WI - 53.4 miles

The 53-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...

Starkweather Creek Path

WI - 3.1 miles

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...

Omaha Trail

WI - 12.5 miles

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...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

WI - 33.8 miles

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...

400 State Trail

WI - 22.3 miles

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....

Wild Goose State Trail

WI - 34.4 miles

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...

Northwestern Trail

WI - 2.8 miles

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...

Mascoutin Valley State Trail

WI - 21 miles

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...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

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...

Bannerman Trail

WI - 7 miles

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...

Southwest Commuter Path

WI - 5.6 miles

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...

Mascoutin Valley State Trail

WI - 21 miles

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...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

400 State Trail

WI - 22.3 miles

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....

Accordion

Wild Goose State Trail

WI - 34.4 miles

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...

Northwestern Trail

WI - 2.8 miles

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...

Glacial River Trail

WI - 55.8 miles

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...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

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...

Hillsboro State Trail

WI - 4.3 miles

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...

Omaha Trail

WI - 12.5 miles

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...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

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...

Wingra Creek Path

WI - 1.9 miles

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...

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

WI - 33.8 miles

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...

Starkweather Creek Path

WI - 3.1 miles

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...

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

WI - 53.4 miles

The 53-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...

Bannerman Trail

WI - 7 miles

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...

Recent Trail Reviews

Elroy-Sparta State Trail

Check Before You Travel

November, 2019 by thammers70

Attempted this 23 Nov 2019. At least one 6 mile section is still closed from Elroy west, including a bridge.
The tunnels were also closed, making most of the trail impassable.
If not frozen, the surface was a muddy mess.
I'm sure this is a great trail when it's dry and all sections are open.

Badger State Trail

Surgery River Trail

October, 2019 by psmietana51

Rode the SRT from Broadhead to New Glarus on Friday 10/25. Great scenic trail but some maintenance is needed, passed four down trees blocking the trail. Also some holes made by some critters you would not want to hit. Most of the mile markers were gone.

Omaha Trail

Rail-ly fun time!

October, 2019 by aparrott58

Rode south to north (elroy to camp Douglas) and back on our fat tire e-bikes. Good scenery, lots of bridges, super tunnel , beautiful weather. Yes there are potholes and even with the fatties, some holes were rough. The asphalt should be milled back to crushed gravel imo. However snowmobile tread and use during the breakup season may be why the surfaced was asphaulted.

Accordion

Glacial River Trail

A Return to Finish the Trail

October, 2019 by buehler868

I returned on one of those great Midwestern fall days to complete the portion of the Glacial River Trail south of Jefferson. I found the few miles that were in-fact a former railroad. The rest of the trail is in the WI-26 freeway corridor or on rural roads and city streets, but the trail is all paved.
The city of Fort Atkinson is very attractive with trail amenities including public art. I again found that the TrailLink map was a necessity as the signage on the tail is sparse.
My only negative is there is no need to do the on-highway portion south of N Wright Rd unless you want to continue to the connection to the Spring Brook Trail that will take you into Janesville.
For an out and back trip consider places where you can use the parallel old WI-26 for a different landscape view.

Glacial River Trail

Paved Trail Makes for a Nice Long Ride

September, 2019 by buehler868

The Glacial River Trail in the Rock River valley is untypical for Wisconsin state trails in that it is entirely paved and not a rail-to-trail. It has a great mix of segments in the WI-26 freeway corridor, city streets and rural roads, with some good grades. I did the north part of the trail from Jefferson to the junction with the Wild Goose State Trail. There are no services provided by the trail owner, but the trail is free to use. The signage for the trail-turns is minimal so the Trail-Link map downloaded on your smart phone is a must. I especially enjoyed my ride thru the river towns of Jefferson, Johnson Creek and Watertown, where I took the time to ride around the downtowns. I will come back someday to do the south portion.

Badger State Trail

Badger State needs attention

September, 2019 by novakdks

We got on the trail at Lacy Street in Verona/Fitchburg WI. The trail was paved and in great shape at that point. Cyclists were using it as a commuter trail and there were several people out walking and running. The trail turned into non-paved surface and that is where we dismounted to pay the fee of $5. Oh my, what can I say. The trail is NOT crushed limestone. At places it appeared to be an abandoned trail except for the path made by a bicycle tire. It was a muddy, sticky mess. I had checked ahead of time and found out the Stewart Tunnel was closed, which saved us back tracking since there wasn't a sign indicating the tunnel was closed. We detoured onto Tunnel Rd and took various paved roads into New Glarus. The best part of the trail was the Monroe WI segment. There was a detour off of the trail as we were coming into town. Very good signage directing us through the road construction area. There was a very nice trailhead with a drinking fountain and restrooms as you came into town from the north. We continued to the downtown area and decided to take a break and headed to the Dairy Queen by exiting the trail at 5th Street and riding to 8th Street. It was a challenge to cross the street but it was during lunch hour. As we headed out of Monroe there was an area of very loose gravel vs crushed limestone. An inexperienced rider might have wrecked. The rest of the trail was not maintained until it connected with the Jane Adams Trail. It was is good shape into Freeport IL.

Glacial Drumlin State Trail

Glacial Drumlin Trail

September, 2019 by harvecon14

Parked at Cottage Grove today and biked out 23 miles and then back to car. It was annoying that we both paid our 5 dollars and then visited the rest room. No toilet paper in mens or women's and both stalls in women's were smeared with feces. Nice surface on trail. Not enough benches. This trail would definitely not qualify as a national rail trail.

Glacial River Trail

Uninhabited but lovely

September, 2019 by wilsonae

I grabbed the trail north of Janesville on my road bike. Crossed the bridge over the highway and did about a mile on the county road before winding through a new housing development and finding the actual trail. It's in great shape, lots of gentle rolling hills and a couple of roundabouts but not a single person anywhere along the trail. I rode to Milton and most of the trail parallels the highway so it's loud on one side but beautiful and agricultural on the other side. I saw hawks and finches and no humans of any kind. It was pretty sweet. I only gave it 4 stars because of the highway driving . Otherwise it's a 5-star paved trail.

Military Ridge State Trail

Nice weekend ride

September, 2019 by izzyo58

My husband and I rode the Military Ridge Trail from Dodgeville to Fitchburg on Saturday of Labor day weekend. We connected the Military Ridge Trail to Cannonball path to Capital City Path and stayed overnight at the Wyndam Garden Madison Fitchburg (total of 45 miles) . We enjoyed the Great Dane Pub and Brewery that is within walking distance from the hotel. Then we rode the trail back to Dodgeville on Sunday. We stopped in Mt Horeb for lunch both days. There are several shops and resturants so it was a nice break to get something to eat and walk around a while. The Military Ridge Trail is nice with varied scenery between rolling farms, wooded areas and marshland. There are a few places where it runs along the highway but overall I thought it was a scenic trail. Most of the trail is in good condition for a hybrid bike but there are a couple sections where there is grass growing in the middle of the path. It didn't cause any problems, but wasn't a well maintained as the other sectins. Overall for a rail trail, I thought it was in good condition. The most scenic part is through the Blue Mound State Park area and the Quarry Ridge Recreation area just west of Fitchburg. The section of the Capital City Trail across Fitchburg is very pretty with lots of wildflowers, but is has a few hills.

Omaha Trail

Great Trail

August, 2019 by dougandlib

Rode the Omaha Trail as an evening ride on our way to Madison. Interesting ride with a nice climb from Hustler WI to the tunnel. If you don’t want to ride the whole trail and just want to see the tunnel, park in Hustler for a quick ride. The surface is an odd chip and seal type pavement but generally in good shape. Quite a bit of surface maintenance is taking place near the tunnel with a new layer of gravel.

Great Sauk State Trail

diesel50

July, 2019 by diesel50

Paved and scenic trail

Just rode the trail and enjoyed the tree cover on the south part of trail on a hot and humid day. The trail is smooth with some gently rolling hills and some good views of the Wisconsin river. A gate stops the trail about 3 miles before Halweg Road so I had to improvise to find a different road to Hwy 78 or Hwy 113.

Badger State Trail

Unkept, unmowed, worst I've rode since 1986

July, 2019 by bikeandrun

I've been riding this and Sugar River Trails since 1986. I purchase the trail passes every year. This year, I have had to crawl over and under trees. The weeds have been so high, all kinds of wild grass brushes against your legs to your knees.
Jane Adams trail is perfect. The first foot onto the Badger, north of Orangeville is really unenjoyable hell. It has not been mowed regularly, so I can't tell you if and when they mow it. But it's no fun. I called and left a message at the local DNR office responsible. Let's see what happens.

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