You’re Ready for the Trail, But is the Trail Ready for You?

state website allows users to check conditions of hiking, biking trails

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth

HIT THE TRAILS. A state website tracks trail conditions across Wisconsin.
HIT THE TRAILS. A state website tracks trail conditions across Wisconsin.

Just as the pent-up energy of springtime bursts forth on the Wisconsin landscape with green leaves and bright wildflowers, so do walkers, hikers, and bikers spring onto the state’s hundreds of miles of trails for some long-awaited recreation.

But how can they know if those trails are ready to be traversed, short of lacing up and slogging through the mud themselves? Fortunately, Travel Wisconsin and the state’s Office of Outdoor Recreation have collaborated to create the online Wisconsin Trail Report. The website, which made its debut last spring, lists current conditions on hiking and biking trails across all parts on the state via an interactive map. The report includes trail networks that traverse state, county, and city lands as well as private and nonprofit-owned properties, such as nature centers.

“The reports also include brief descriptions of the trail networks to inform users about the total mileage, type of terrain and landscape, facilities (like restrooms) available, or if fees are required,” Travel Wisconsin said in a media release about the project. “Biking trails are categorized as recreational or mountain bike trails and list the surface type. Dozens of local reporters keep the 140 hiking and biking reports updated weekly or after major weather events or ongoing construction. Reporters are a mix of hiking and biking enthusiasts, members of clubs or friends groups, land managers, and destination marketing organizations.”

As of this writing, most trails in west-central Wisconsin were listed as open and in good or fair condition. However, weather conditions – surprise late-season snowfall, anyone? – can change quickly, so before you hit the trail, check the Wisconsin Trail Report at