UW-Madison Crest

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Madison, WI

Aerial view of colorful autumn trees with cross-sectioning trails, down which a person is jogging

Photo credit: Jeff Miller

Hit the Trails

In a city dominated by lakes, natural areas, parks, and trails, Madisonians live for the outdoors. Whether you’re an avid jogger, biker, or casual stroller, the city’s diverse landscape makes it easy to benefit from nature’s soul-restoring effects. Follow in the footsteps of local pioneers John Muir, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Aldo Leopold, whose greatest achievements were inspired by nature.

Paved bike path on lakeshore in the foreground with sun rising over horizon in the distance

Photo credit: Tor-Erik Bakke

City bike paths

Madison is a serious biking community. Convenient routes fan out across the city, providing a quick escape to Wisconsin’s scenic landscapes. The central Capital City State Trail makes a gentle 17-mile loop through farmland and protected natural areas, returning along Lake Monona.

Bike the Capital City Trail

Illustrated map of Madison, WI showing outlines of 3 lakes and bike paths extending in multiple directions
A road extends into the background through wooded area as sunlight shines through trees during autumn

Photo credit: Jeff Miller


Secret trails lead to unseen ponds. A well-hidden pedestrian tunnel stretches to the southern tract of the university’s most treasured and beautiful research center. Welcome to the Arboretum: located just four miles south of campus, it’s home to the world’s oldest and most varied collection of ecological restorations.

Visit the UW Arboretum

Illustrated map of Madison, WI showing outlines of 3 lakes and grass that indicates location of UW-Madison Arboretum