The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working to determine if ATVs and UTVs will be allowed on the Badger State and Sugar River Trails as part of the 2020 Southwest Savanna Ecological Landscape Regional Master Plan project.
Once the plan is completed by the DNR, there will be 30 days of public review and comment available, which will include a public meeting that is not yet scheduled, according to Savannah Ernzen, Program and Policy Analyst Advisor for the DNR. Ernzen expects the plan to go to public review in the coming weeks.
Times reporter Adam Krebs visited the Sugar River and Badger State trails in late August to ask cyclists and hikers how often they used the trails and their thoughts on the proposal to allow access to ATVs and UTVs.
Proposed dual trail ...
If the DNR allows ATVs and UTVs on the Sugar River and Badger State trails, it would connect Brodhead to Monroe, and then be able to head west on the Cheese Country Trail toward Darlington.
■ Sugar River Trail: From the Brodhead trail head, through Albany to just south of Monticello at the junction of the Badger State Trail.
■ Badger State Trail: From the Monticello intersection with the Sugar River Trail south into Monroe until 17th street.
What trail users have to say:
Several trail users opted to remain anonymous:
David & Stephanie from Evansville
How often do you use the trails? 2-3 times a year
Should ATVs/UTVs be allowed access to the Badger State or Sugar River Trails? David: It’s not the best usage.
Stephanie: It should be mostly for hikers and bikers.
Shelly from Albany
How often do you use the trails? Everyday, usually to run
Should ATVs/UTVs be allowed access to the Badger State or Sugar River Trails? We have a UTV and we wish we could use it. We understand people have concerns, especially with their kids.
Deb from Monroe
How often do you use the trails? 2-3 times a week
Should ATVs/UTVs be allowed access to the Badger State or Sugar River Trails? As long as they don’t hit me.
Two business owners from Madison
How often do you use the trails? First time going down to Clarno on the Badger State Trail
Should ATVs/UTVs be allowed access to the Badger State or Sugar River Trails? Man 1: That would be ridiculous. I would never ride this trail again.
Man 2: There are so many ATV trails already, they can stick to those.