Wisconsin Cheese Trail
- Location: Monroe, Mineral Point WI
- Length: 47 miles (one way)
- Usage: Heavy
- WI Resident ATV: Not required
- Non Resident ATV: $35
- WI Resident Snowmobile: $30
- Non Resident Snowmobile: $50
- Skill Level: Easy
- Open: Year round (with less than 1” of snow)
- Vehicles Allowed: ATV, UTV, dirt bikes, mopeds, motorcycles
This 47 mile trail, sometimes also called the Cheese Country Recreation Trail, runs from Monroe WI to Mineral Point MI. It’s a multi-use trail open to ATV, UTV, dirt bikes, mopeds, motorcycles, horses and horse-drawn buggies, bicycles, and hikers.
A $15 trail pass is required for all out of state registered and unregistered motorized vehicles. Horse riders and bicyclists over the age of 18 are also required to have a trail pass.
Trail passes can be purchased at several location throughout the area. Trail Pass Vendor Locations
In state ATVs are not required to have a trail pass, but it’s very much appreciated if you do purchase one as it helps support the trail.
The Wisconsin Cheese Trail is a flat dirt trail with easy riding. Very family friendly. Travel through farmland, small historic towns and wooded areas of Iowa, Lafayette and Green Counties of Wisconsin.
This trail intersects with quite a few other ATV trails in the region providing you with additional riding opportunities. Plus there are also some roads open for ATV use as well as some ATV club maintained trails.
The 10 mile long Pecatonica State Trail is one of the spur trails located off of the Cheese Country Recreational Trail.
ATVs are (theoretically) permitted to use the trail year round. However, once there is 1” or more of snow on the trail it closes to ATV use. After 4 inches of snow is on the trail, it opens to snowmobiles.
ATV Friendly Towns
The towns on the Cheese Trail are ATV friendly. They have posted ATV routes through town making it easy to access to access campgrounds and amenities.
Lodging is easy to find. Plenty of campgrounds are scattered throughout the region, both city run as well as privately owned. Virtually every small town has a motel, hotel, inn or VRBO rental.
Trail Use Hours
- Wisconsin Cheese Trail – no motorized travel is permitted from 1am – 5am
- Monroe – ATV routes are closed from 11pm – 7am
- Mineral Point – ATV routes are closed from 9pm – 6am
- Darlington – ATV routes are closed from 10pm – 7am
Wisconsin Cheese Trail Overview
Mineral Point is a small town with a strong local art scene with several art galleries. Monroe, with a population of over 10,000, is slightly larger with a strong Swiss heritage. Both towns have downtown areas that are quite charming and worth a visit.
Of course, a cheese trail wouldn’t be complete without cheese! Monroe dubs itself as the Swiss Cheese Capital of the United States. But Swiss Cheese isn’t the only cheese they produce. Other popular regional cheeses include Limburger, Cheddar, Gouda, Fontina, Havarti and many more.
Green County has about 400 dairy farms that produce 530 million pounds of milk annually. Having all this local fresh milk makes it easy for Wisconsin to produce two and a half billion pounds of cheese a year. Wisconsin is the largest cheese producing state in the US.
There are 13 cheese factories in Green County with a couple dozen more in the surrounding area.
In Monroe, stop in at the Alp and Dell which features150 different cheeses. For lunch grab a delicious sandwich made with their fresh local cheese. Or buy delicious local summer sausage, cheese and olives for a picnic. They also have wine and beer.
Every Saturdays the Alp and Dell does a big cheese and wine paring event. Monday through Friday, you can watch cheese being made in the Emmi Roth viewing hall.
Also in Monroe, be sure to check out the National Historic Cheesemaking Center to find all about this regions rich cheese history and see what cheesemaking looked like 100 years ago.
Visit Monroe in September for Green County Cheese Days which features food, cheese and beer plus parades, music and contests.
The Cheese Trail takes you through several small towns making it easy to find restaurants, gas and lodging.
For more great riding opportunities in Wisconsin check out:
Cheese Country Trail Camping
Green County Fairgrounds (Monroe WI)
- RV: $25
- Tent: $15
- Sewer Dump: $5 for campers/$30 for non-campers
- Reservations: Not available
- Open: First Saturday in May – last Saturday in September (no camping during the Green County Fair in July)
This is a large campground with 100 sites. Located at Monroe’s Green County Fairgrounds, this campground has easy trail access.
Most sites have electric hook ups available, some have water.
Located on 10th street, the fairgrounds are a great location for exploring Monroe as well as the Cheese Trail. There is plenty of parking available for ATV trailers.
Pecatonica River Trails Park / Darlington Campground
- RV w/Electric: $20
- Tent/ Non-Electric: $15
- Sewer Dump: Free
- Reservations: No reservations
- Open: Not Available
30/50 amp hookups. Darlington Campground has a shower house with private showers.
On most weekends, sites are available on a first come first serve basis. Holiday weekends fill up early and fast, so plan accordingly.
Families will enjoy the playground, fishing platform, basketball court and walking trail.
Fun Fact: Darlington has a beautiful historic courthouse featuring a Tiffany glass rotunda with copper and marble fixtures. This courthouse is where scenes for the movie Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, was filmed.
Wolf Creek Campground (Gratiot WI)
- RV w/Electric & Water: $20
- Tent/ Non-Electric: $15
- Sewer Dump:
- Reservations: No reservations
- Open: May – November
As the name suggests, this campground is located on Wolf Creek which has great trout fishing.
Wolf Creek Campground is right off the Cheese Trail with easy access to gas and restaurants. Gas is only a block away.
Four showers are available for free, one is handicap accessible.
With only 34 campsites, it’s a relatively small campground. 24 sites have hook ups, 10 sites have no hook ups. No reservations are available, it’s strictly first come first serve.
A water fill station is available on site, but the dump station is 1/4 mile down the road.
Pets on leashes are allowed.
- Must have a WI ATV registration or a trail pass
- Horses and bike riders 18 and older require a trail pass
- Wisconsin does require ATV registration for state residents
- This trail is patrolled by law enforcement
- Easy access to services
- Several campgrounds provide direct trail access
Cheese Trail Rules
- Speed Limits
- 30 mph on the trail
- 15 mph when crossing bridges
- 10 mph through towns and near pedestrians and buildings
- 5 mph in parking lots
- A trail pass is required for out of state ATVs
- A trail pass is required for horseback riders and bicyclists
- Riders can only ride on the trail and designated routes
- No trespassing
- ATVs are not allowed on roads unless it is designated as an ATV route or to cross a road or bridge
- Operators must obey all trail signs
- ATV must always be operated in a safe manner
- No ditch riding
- No excessive muffler noise is allowed
- Spark arrestors are required
Wisconsin Youth Operator Rules
- ATV: Operators born on or after 1/1/1988 who are at least 12 year old must possess a valid ATV safety certificate before operating on this trail.
- ATV: Children under 12 years of age can operate an ATV 90cc or smaller when accompanied by a parent.
- Snowmobile: Operators born on or after 1/1/1985 who are at least 12 years old must possess a valid snowmobile safety certificate before operating on this trail.
- Motorcycle: Children under the age of 12 may operate a motorcycle only when accompanied by a parent or legal adult 18 or older.
- Motorcycle: Children between the ages of 12 and 16 can operate unaccompanied if they possess a valid ATV safety certificate.
- Helmets are required for all operators and passengers under the age of 18 on all motorized vehicles.