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Hike the Ice Age Junction Trail portion of the Ice Age Trail

Madison, Wisconsin

Details

Distance

4.6 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Natalie F

Pretty hike with a very well maintained trail.

This is an excellent trail right in the city of Madison and doing this portion made me very excited to continue hiking more of the Ice Age Trail in this area.  The Ice Age Trail is more than 1,000 miles long and it follows the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin.  

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For this part of the trail I started at 220 McKee Rd. in Madison and needed to be done hiking within two hours so ended up turning around at the Moraine Kettles Preserve parking right off Cty Hwy M in Verona; this was about a ¼ mile after going underneath 151 via a new tunnel built in 2010 called the Ice Age Junction Trail Bicycle pedestrian Underpass.  

On to more specifics: park at 220 McKee Rd. There is a sign for the Ice Age Trail and it’s right by where S. Highpoint Intersects McKee.  Pull in, it turns to a gravel road, follow the road and you’ll see the parking ahead.  

I was there on a weekday during the day and there were about 6 cars parked in the lot. Head towards the bike path and don’t turn onto the bike path, keep going straight towards the field and you’ll see a marker for the trail telling you to turn right onto the grass trail.  Follow that trail and it will wind you through a beautifully kept trail filled with wildflowers.  There was only one segment of this trail that was wooded and it only lasted for ¼ mile; I would guess it was less than 1/2 a mile into the trail.  July was a wonderful time to go (other than that it was very hot) because the wildflowers were everywhere and I saw all kinds of birds, butterflies, and bees.  I had never done this portion of the Ice Age Trail and am not the most directionally skilled person, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Reddan Soccer Park along the trail as I played a lot of soccer there growing up.  This brings you to the only road you have to cross during this segment of the trail: Cross Country Road.  Keep following the trail after you cross the road.  You’ll go by more soccer fields on your right.  You’ll climb a tiny hill and keep winding through the trail.  Eventually you’ll go through a park (bathrooms, playground, and picnic shelter here) and end up on a bike trail.  You’ll be right by civilization at this point: there’s a Farm and Fleet, grocery store, and a few restaurants.  Walk on the bike path, or the grass next to it, and you’ll come to the tunnel I mentioned above. Turn left after the tunnel and you’ll go over a small wooden bridge, then you’ll get to another trailhead parking area. This is where I turned around: Cty Hwy M. It’s also a common biking area, I believe it’s Military Ridge Trail.      

  • There is no bathroom at this trailhead
  • Dogs are allowed on leashes
  • Following the trail is easy, there are brown posts marked with yellow signaling where the trail is
  • This portion of the trail is 4.6 miles (2.3 miles one way)
  • I didn’t see a single piece of garbage on the trail! Keep it that way please! The trail is maintained by volunteers.
  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen
  • Scenic view of the rolling hills of Verona, Madison, and Fitchburg area

Where I started: 220 McKee Rd, Madison, WI 53719

Awesome interactive map for the Ice Age Trail.

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Features

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic
Wildflowers

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Visit the public gardens at West Madison Agricultural Research Station of UW-Madison

Hiking through Owen Conservation Park

Hike through Pope Farm Conservancy

Explore the University of Wisconsin Arboretum

Relax at Bernie's Beach

Catch a Sunset at the Memorial Union