We are lucky enough to have one of the National Scenic Trails running through Wisconsin. It’ll never be confused with some of its larger and more popular cousins, but its proximity to Madison gives us some good opportunities to get out on the trail.
A new section for me is the Table Bluff section of trail near Cross Plains, WI (and also where the headquarters of the IAT is located). Running 2.3 miles total it makes for a nice 4.6 mile out and back. Being in the driftless area of Wisconsin it’s more hilly than a few miles farther east and although it’s not very far from Madison itself it feels more secluded than you’d think.
Starting from the south end you face a 200ft climb right to the top of an oak savanna. There is a nice picnic area at the top and views of the surrounding farmland. As you continue on the trail it weaves through forest, prairie and some farmland.
The trail ends at Table Bluff Rd near Dreamfarm which specializes in local cheeses, eggs and veg (although they don’t have a farm stand). If you’re lucky enough you’ll see the goats and chickens galavanting in the fields.
At this point you can turn around and head back to the car along the same trail you came on.