Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail Network

Last Updated: 08/22/2023

In 2020 and 2021 Madison Parks developed a plan for a citywide system of multi-use, bike-optimized, off-road trails. Parks had heard the long-standing request from the community for off-road bike trails within the City of Madison.  Other municipalities have successfully developed trail networks and demand has grown in Dane County and the city of Madison.  To deliver on this community desire, Madison Parks wanted to thoughtfully plan and develop off-road trail amenities of its own.

Through research and data analysis as part of the 2018-2023 Park and Opens Space Plan, one of the recommended strategies from the plan is to improve connectivity to enhance access and create a comprehensive system of green space connections. In 2019 the City applied for, and obtained, a trail planning grant from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). This grant provided matching funds of $20,000 to produce a citywide feasibility study and develop a trail concept plan. The City worked with IMBA to compile land records and planning files to produce a citywide trail plan.

In addition, the City of Madison Parks Division hosted three community engagement meetings in October 2020. At each meeting, City staff provided a short overview of the project for attendees to learn more about off-road natural surface trails, their purpose, benefits, and components. The meetings concluded with a question and answer session.  The community was invited to attend these meetings and provide feedback.  Parks received many comments of support for the planned system with many people asking how trails could be developed in their neighborhood.   This project provides a "master plan" for where trails are appropriate throughout the city.  To check on individual segments, parks, or greenways where trail development may be possible please see the online Story Map.  Because of the scale of the project, the story map is the best tool to use to view proposed locations. 

The Board of Park Commissioners approved the overall plan for MadBAT on September 22, 2021.   Each individual trail segment is still treated as its own project and is subject to funding being available, public input, and a city project being created. 

The final citywide trail planning project was completed and an online story map was created.  This site shows the reasons and process behind developing trails within Madison.  A final complete trail planning map can be seen on Slide 9 of the webpage.  While every site shown on the final plan may be completed, there aren't immediate plans or funding allocated to all sites.  Generally, the goal is to build one to two segments per year as funding and public support is acquired.

Segments approved so far include:

Trails at Quarry Park
Pump Track and Skill Loop at Aldo Leopold Park
Cannonball Shred to School trail from Post Rd to Hwy 151

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