The 31.5 mile Glacial River Bike Trail extends the full length (North to South) of Jefferson County. The trail extends seamlessly beyond Jefferson County into Rock and Dodge Counties offering users even more distance, scenery and outdoor recreational opportunity. The trail is connected by an on-road portion of the Wild Goose Trail in Dodge County. A portion of the Glacial River Trail from downtown Fort Atkinson to the Jefferson/Rock County line is set on a former rail bed that features a covered bridge. The majority provides an asphalt paved, separated grade trail. It is a mix of trail and on-road connections from Fort Atkinson. This spectacular attraction features an archway, bronze sculptures, rest areas and fountains – making it a relaxing and scenic adventure.
Glacial Drumlin State Trail
Developed in 1986, the trail starts in Cottage Grove (just east of Madison) and heads east for 52 miles where it connects with other trails in the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha. The trail is open to cyclists, walkers, joggers, roller bladers and snowmobiles. A pass is required before using the trail and is valid on all other state trails. Annual fee: $20; daily fee: $4. No pass is required for hikers or children under 16. glacialdrumlin.com.
The trail runs along the Rock River from the headwaters in Fond du Lac County, to the Mississippi River at Rock Island in Illinois. Following on its 2013 designation as a National Water Trails System by the Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior, the 320-mile Water Trail began an effort to connect the many communities together through a joint initiative.There has been a great deal of cooperation between both states as it crosses 11 counties and 37 municipalities.
The Rock River Water Trail begins at two trailheads in the Wisconsin headwaters: Waupun County Park on the South Branch of the river in Waupun and Rivers Edge Park on the East Branch in Theresa. It meanders down a gentle gradient to safely carry the water traveler and recreational enthusiast alike past picturesque rural and scenic landscapes, natural wilderness areas and vibrant urban riverfronts. Not only does it provide recreational activities, but it also gives the recreationalist access to various retail, restaurants and events along its river banks.
There are a plethora of routes within the river corridor to provide access for all to the natural resources, recreational opportunities, scenic beauty and historic and cultural assets of the Rock River Valley. We invite you to paddle it, drive it, bike it, hike it, taste it (chocolate tour), appreciate it (art tour), ride it (horse trails) or fly it. There’s virtually something for everyone!
The GHA is a network of parks, wildlife and natural areas, historic and cultural sites, waterways and preserves – all connected by trails and waterways. It’s located primarily in Jefferson County with some portions in Rock, Dodge, and Dane counties and supports high-quality grasslands, wetlands and forests, interspersed with productive agricultural land. The mission is to connect more people to the land through conservation parks, linking trails, wildlife areas and river-based recreation. glacialheritagearea.org.
Located between Rockdale and Cambridge along the Koshkonong Creek, this 422-acre park has three areas with shelter facilities and play areas. It’s suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing and some of the best singletrack in the area. The park can be reached via several access points with connector trails to all parks, access points located trailhead adjacent to Westside Park on Water Street in downtown Cambridge, County Hwy B and Highland Drive in the village of Rockdale.
Emma Carlin Trail
The trail is comprised of three loops, with difficult sections covering nearly 40 miles. The west end of the Green Loop has a particularly tough uphill grind. For a total challenge, take the formidable Connector Trail south to the John Muir Trail (Palmyra).
Parks & Trails
View all of the parks and trails in Jefferson County on our parks page.