The Friends of the 400 Trail

spring_bike_rider_300x295 Wetlands, wildlife, sandstone bluffs, rolling croplands and pastures are just a few of the sights you can enjoy on the 400 State Trail as it repeatedly crisscrosses the Baraboo River. The entire length of the 22-mile trail follows along the river valley from Elroy to Reedsburg.  (Map)
The trail is named for the Chicago-Northwestern passenger train that ran on this grade. The train traveled the 400 miles between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul in 400 minutes. The renovated Reedsburg Depot is the trail headquarters and the office for the Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce. The depot is used as an information center with interpretive displays and public rest area facilities.
The trail, which parallels the Baraboo River for its entire run, is really four trails in one. It connects to the Hillsboro, Elroy-Sparta and Omaha state trails for a combined total of 95 miles. With a packed limestone surface, plus 11 bridges crisscrossing the Baraboo, the 400 State Trail provides a smooth, flat riding surface. You will see many bicyclists on this trail, although snowmobiles use it in winter, and there is an adjacent 7-mile equestrian path between Lavalle and Wonewoc.
The Friends" is a non-profit Wisconsin Corporation whose purpose is to promote the 400 State Trail. The Friends of the 400 State Trail, Inc. consists of 10 voting directors. Each of the 5 communities located on the 400 Trail - Reedsburg, LaValle, Wonewoc, Union Center and Elroy is represented by two appointed directors. The friends group meets once per month to discuss our various promotions. "The Friends" advertises the 400 State Trail in numerous recreational trade publications, brochures, and a web page. "The Friends" also places a display at various tourism conventions, television and radio appearances, and parade appearances. "The Friends" are involved in a joint venture with three other state trails, known as "Bike4Trails".
The Friends strive to find new and innovative means to promote trail usage. Easy access and easy riding on level grades make families the ideal market. Public RadioFTH6192 and social media are used to promote the trail. Bike-A-Rama in Madison is one of our big events. Local parades have featured a float sponsored and designed by The Friends of 400 Trail. Pamphlets, refrigerator magnets, and wristbands are distributed at various outlets and T-shirts with our logo are available for purchase.
patch2"The Friends" receive no monetary support from the State or any of their agencies. Income is derived from the sale of annual & daily trail passes that are sold by our trail pass vendors located along the 400 Trail. Additional revenues are from the sales of authorized 400 Trail patches, shirts, buttons and through donations received from the general public.
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Submitted by John Pearson, President of 400 State Trail Friends Group, edited by R. Paske