Biking the Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment


Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment
Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment

The Monticello Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is 6.6 miles of bike path paved with crushed stone in south central Wisconsin. It connects the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment with the Albany Segment via the Badger State Trail. This popular section of bike trail features 1/4 mile of underground hiking as bikers and hikers walk through the Stewart Tunnel. On either side of the tunnel the trail route is shaded by tall deciduous trees. The route is severely straight and flat - cutting across agricultural land between Exeter and Monticello. A few miles off the trail in Monticello there are several eateries, parks, and a public flower garden.



Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail


The Ice Age Trail takes a turn to the dark side for 1260 feet on the Monticello Segment. The novelty of biking and hiking deep beneath ground in the pitch black Stewart Tunnel is what draws bikers and hikers to this sparsely populated area of southern Wisconsin. Be sure to have a strong flashlight if you plan to survey the cave-like interior of the tunnel; it is a miserable damp and disorienting experience without one.

The Tunnel was completed in 1887, having been dug by hand, steam shovel, and dynamited into existence. The general contractor, James Stewart, charged with constructing the tunnel was killed in a horse and buggy accident nearby and the tunnel is named in his honor.

From the tunnel it is downhill all the way to Monticello. Shortly before entering Monticello the trail passes over the picturesque Little Sugar River.  At Monticello there are vault toilets, a good parking lot, and water station. If you head west from the trail into town you'll find a nice park with a public flower garden and a few good restaurants. Mysteriously, there are no campgrounds, hotels, or inns on this section of trail. There are plenty of opportunities in Monticello between the Sugar River and Badger State Trails to establish a self registration county campground with 10 sites - just a suggestion - hopefully Green County is listening.

At Monticello, through hikers need to swap trails from the Badger State Trail to the Sugar River Tail. Signage isn't that great, so be careful to check that you are on the Sugar River Trail if you want to head towards Albany. The Badger State Trail continues on down to into Illinois.

Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail



Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Monticello Segment


COUNTY: Green
COMMUNITIES: Exeter, Monticello

TOTAL MILES: 6.6 miles
DIFFICULTY: Very Easy (crushed stone path)

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Albany Segment (Sugar River State Trail)
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Brooklyn Wildlife Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Badger State Trail, Stewart Tunnel, Little Sugar River


Directions and Trail Map




If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner

Address for your GPS: 300 Pratt Rd Monticello, WI 53570
| coordinates: 42.742253, -89.579314 |

From Milwaukee2 Hours
From Madison45 Minutes
From Green Bay3 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis4.5 Hours
From Chicago2.5 Hours


Photos



Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment
Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment

Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment
Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment

Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment
Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail / Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment

Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail

Crossover from Sugar River State Trail to Badger State Trail
Crossover from Sugar River State Trail to Badger State Trail


Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail


Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail

Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail
Ice Age Trail Monticello Segment - Badger State Trail









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