The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is a rail-trail that’s popular with bike riders, hikers, and dog walkers alike! This 32-mile crushed limestone trail goes from Elroy to Sparta, and along the way, it passes through the communities of Kendall, Wilton, and Norwalk. The trail welcomes dogs on leashes that are eight feet or shorter.
The Elroy-Sparta Trail is most famous for its three tunnels. The two tunnels near Kendall and Wilton are about 0.25 miles long, and the tunnel that stretches between Norwalk and Sparta is 0.75 miles long. It’s always cool inside these limestone tunnels, no matter what the weather is like outside. Water from the springs above the tunnel often trickles down the tunnel’s walls, and because of that, this portion of the trail can get a bit muddy. You’ll also want to bring a flashlight with you for this part of the trail since there’s no light inside the tunnels.
As you go along the Elroy-Sparta Trail, you’ll pass through a wide variety of beautiful terrains. One portion of the trail goes through a thick forest that provides shade, and another part passes by rural farmland. There’s also a portion of the trail that goes through a picturesque wetland area.
If you’d like to stop for lunch with your dog during your walk, there are three picnic areas along the trail: one near the Sparta-Norwalk tunnel, one in Norwalk, and one in Kendall. There also restrooms at the picnic area in Norwalk and the picnic area in Kendall. Plus, there are additional restroom facilities near Elroy and Wilton.
The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is a unique, mostly level trail that both dogs and their owners will love! Bring plenty of water for you and your pup with you, and have a great time hiking down this furrific trail. Don't forget to practice good "petiquette" and clean up after your dog!