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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 farther west to Middleton.
A nice place to begin a trip on the trail is from Marshall Park, near the west end of the trail. The park not only provides the essentials—a parking lot, drinking water, and restrooms—but also access to the lake for boating, fishing, swimming, and beach lounging. From the park, head down a paved pathway paralleling Allen Boulevard for about a quarter mile to reach the Blackhawk Path at University Avenue.
The trail heads southeast along University Avenue with a grassy median separating walkers and bikers from traffic. Although you'll cross several intersecting roadways, the crosswalks are clearly marked. The western half of the trail largely abuts tree-filled neighborhoods; as it continues east, you'll see more shops and restaurants.
After passing Spring Harbor Park, the experience once again reverts to residential. In quick succession, you'll pass the small Indian Hills Park and the sprawling golf course of the Blackhawk Country Club. Here, the trail begins to parallel an active rail-line (a scenario known as a rail-with-trail), which continues to trail's end 0.75 miles away. The trail ends in a bustling shopping area just outside of the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus.
Parking is available near the trail's west end in Marshall Park (2101 Allen Blvd.). Trail access, drinking water, and restrooms, can also be found in Spring Harbor Park (5218 Lake Mendota Dr.).
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