The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation wardens and DNR park staff will be finding their adventure along with the public on the Military Ridge State Trail and other popular state trails this Memorial Day weekend.

Wardens will be out on the trails checking for trail passes and stressing safety tips and will be ready to answer questions from the public. Wardens will not be selling the trail passes, so trail users must have their trail passes before hitting the trail.

The 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail in Iowa and Dane counties connects Dodgeville and Madison by way of an 1855 military route between Verona and Dodgeville. The trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks, passing by agricultural lands, woods, wetlands and prairies.

“Some of our trails have mixed uses. A bike rider may come upon walkers or joggers, so bike riders should watch their speed and be aware of trail etiquette,” said DNR Conservation Warden Jake Donar. “The goal is to help everyone on the trails enjoy their time in nature. A big help will be for riders to purchase their trail passes before starting their outing.”

A state trail pass is required for everyone 16 and older biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding or in-line skating on the state trail system. An annual pass is $25, and a daily pass is $5. A pass is not required for those who walk, jog or hike. Signs are posted at trailheads on the trails that require a pass. The funds from trail pass sales are used to maintain the trails.

Trail passes can be purchased at any state park office window, self-registration station, some local businesses or a trailhead where kiosks are present. Passes also can be purchased over the phone by contacting any state park.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s state parks, trails and recreation areas on the DNR’s website.

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