Wisconsin May 18, 2019
The Wisconsin Town That’s A Nationally Recognized Bicycling Paradise
Fitchburg is a town of about 25,000 people just south of Madison. A suburb of our state’s capital, this community has put in massive efforts in recent years to make their town bike-friendly. A popular choice for families to live in the Fitchburg area, they’ve worked with the League of American Bicyclists to create a number of safe, convenient biking locations throughout their city, earning them the designation as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. More than just bike lanes, the city of Fitchburg has gone all in on making their town a destination.
Fitchburg truly is a bicyclists paradise. When the snow starts to melt (and for many, even before then) you'll see tons of locals out and about on their bikes. Fitchburg may be the most bike-connected town in the state.
At least six different trails meet here in Fitchburg — there's so much bike traffic coming through here that they even made a bike trail roundabout. The city is so committed to its bike-friendly routes that there are street signs pointing you to the trails all across town.
Three of the trails that cross through Fitchburg are state trails where a trail pass is required and the other three are Fitchburg local trails that are free to use and no trail pass is required. A state trail pass is required for all people age 16 or older biking, in-line skating, or cross-country skiing on some trails. Wisconsin resident pass fees are $20/annually or $4/daily. The link to purchase passes in at the end of the article, but you can also be purchased in person at Fitchburg City Hall.
Many Fitchburg residents commute to work via bicycle, using the Capital City Trail, which takes them right into downtown Madison. The Badger State Trail extends 40 miles down to the Illinois state line.
The Military Ridge State Trail is 41 miles long and follows abandoned rail corridors in Dane and Iowa counties. The trail starts in Fitchburg and runs through Verona, Mt. Horeb, Blue Mounds, Riley and ends in Dodgeville. It has been extended in Fitchburg with the Military Ridge Path which connects this trail with the Badger State Trail, Capital City State Trail, Cannonball Path, and Southwest Path near Fitchburg’s Arrowhead Park.
Cannonball Path is the final major bike path through Verona. It also connects to Madison and is a joint effort with the capital city. It includes a bridge over the Beltline Highway.
Though the paths certainly attract serious bicycling enthusiasts, Fitchburg's biking culture isn't just for the hardcore. The city encourages family biking and exploration of the area and holds bicycle safety classes to help get little ones on bikes and on the path.
So much thought has been put into making Fitchburg a bike-friendly city. Earning the League of American Bicyclists designation is not easy. The group provides guidance and guidelines and a number of steps have to be planned and carried out over a long time to come to fruition. You'll find water fountains and bathroom facilities along the various bike paths, as well as places set up to help you keep your bike road-ready. There are tire pumps and equipment at places along the paths to help bicyclists when they need it.
In addition to standard bike trails, Fitchburg is also home to two mountain bike trails for those who prefer a bit more difficult, challenging ride than the paved paths provides. There's also a yearly bike race and festival called the Festival of Speed in mid-July. These folks are all in on welcoming and celebrating bicyclists of all ages.
The central location makes it a perfect place to get on your bike and start exploring. Whether you're heading into town for a meal or a trip to the farmer's market and using the designated bike lanes or even going off the beaten bike path to travel to nearby tourist towns like New Glarus, there's basically no reason not to love life on two wheels here.
With so much gorgeous area to explore and with connections, paths and a city ethos that makes it easy — and safe — to head out, there's basically no reason not to Bike the Burg, as they like to say. Fitchburg has created an amazing bike culture in their town. Planning and execution of tons of great biking spaces that are protected and safe for bikers is a huge step and makes this somewhere you're going to want to visit — or maybe even relocate to!
You can download a Bike Fitchburg Map or use the online map from this
website. The Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce page about biking in Fitchburg is here. And the details about the different trails can be found here. Click here to purchase a state trail pass.
State Trail Passes can also be purchased at Fitchburg City Hall on the 2nd Floor. Address: 5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg, WI 57311.
If you like biking, you have to check out the Heart of Vilas Biking Trail up in the Northwoods for some of the most spectacular scenery ever.