Neighborhood Spotlight: Everything You Need to Know About Fitchburg, WI
Fitchburg is a suburb of Madison, resting only 5 miles south of downtown Madison. It’s sandwiched between the cosmopolitan bustle of downtown and the idyllic farmland Wisconsin is famous for. Fitchburg is an active community with a balance of suburban life and agriculture. In 2012 the city officially became a bike-friendly community by the League of American cyclists. The town’s recent development has been responsible. The inclusion of green design and green spaces are scattered throughout the city.
History of Fitchburg WI
Fitchburg has not always been known by this name. Before Fitchburg, it was Rome. Then it was Greenfield. The early leaders of the town decided to re-name it Fitchburg after confusion arose between this town and others nearby. They wanted Fitchburg to stand out. The name that stuck pays homage to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the hometown of the township’s founder, Ebenezer Brigham. Brigham is known to be Dane County’s first permanent resident.
Like many areas in Dane County, Fitchburg first built up its community through wheat farming. But then the 1860 cinch bug infestation destroyed the wheat crops. Farmers altered their expertise to accommodate livestock…, particularly dairy cows. As time went on, they blended a mix of corn and alfalfa plants into their dairy fields too. The agriculture remains strong in the town. Locals can contribute to the Fitchburg community garden. A large plot has been propagated at Swan Creek Park. Anyone interested in contributing to the garden can fill out an application on the Fitchburg government website.
Recreation in Fitchburg
Lake Waubesa is part of Dane County’s major lakes system. The massive waterbody encompasses 2,074 acres. It’s a major weekend hotspot for Fitchburg’s outdoor enthusiasts. There are four public boat landings and a public beach. Goodland County Park Beach’s eastern-facing shores are a beautiful spot for watching the sunrise over the water. Fisherman can have a field day on Lake Waubesa. Abundant Panfish and Largemouth Bass in the clear blue waters.
A kettle lake formed from an ice-age era glacier, Mud Lake is a fun spot for any paddlers or fisherman. Locals can paddle through channel-ways formed by cattails and sedge grass. Wildlife is abundant at Mud Lake. On your adventure, you may see painted turtles, blue heron, muskrat lodges, and mid-transformation tadpoles. Any camping lovers can enjoy the view at Sandhill Station State Campground.
Prairie Moraine Park
This local park features a section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Snowshoeing is available here in the winter months. There are lots of opportunities in the park to learn about Wisconsin’s glacial history. Scenic overlooks give views of moraine rocks deposited by glaciers of the past. There’s also a giant (79-acre!) dog park. Prairie Moraine is constantly winning “best dog park” contests. Their landscaped fields are great for throwing a ball around.
Quarry Ridge Recreation Area
Quarry Ridge is a popular spot for mountain bikers. There are over three miles of biking and hiking trails in that park. It also connects to the larger Military Ridge and Capital City State Trails. There are serene woods, picnic tables, and plenty of parking.
A Commitment to Energy Efficiency
In January 2019 the Fitchburg City Council announced that the city would be 100% reliant on sustainable energy by 2030. In passing this resolution, Fitchburg became the 4th city in Wisconsin to make this commitment. Fitchburg City Hall is powered completely by solar panels. Dozens of Fitchburg homeowners have installed solar on their homes. In these homes, solar energy covers 100% of their yearly electric needs. In alignment with their sustainability model Bike Fitchburg, a local non-profit, is working to improve walking and biking paths in the city. From their efforts, Fitchburg has received national recognition as a “Bike-Friendly Community”. They’re also a certified “Tree City USA”.
To read more about Fitchburg’s action plan, check out their sustainability story map.
The City of Fitchburg is spread across three school districts- Madison, Oregon, and Verona. Schools available to Fitchburg residents are:
- Eagle School (a private school option)
- Edgewood High School
- Oregon High School
- Savanna Oaks Middle School
- Stoner Prairie Elementary School
- Forest Edge Elementary School
- Leopold Elementary School
The St. James School offers free bussing to certain parts of Fitchburg.
Enrollment at The Woods Hollow Children’s Center is also available for Fitchburg residents.
For more information, check out the Dane County school zone map.
Best Places to Dine and Drink in Fitchburg
Some locals claim Tapatio’s serves the best tacos in all of Madison. Their authentic Mexi-Cali menu and low price points make this a weekly hot spot for locals (Margarita Monday, anyone?!)
An upscale, old-world ambiance encompasses the tavern. The menu consists of creative, New American cuisine. It’s an amazing pick for date night. Sunday brunch is unbeatable too.
Hop Haus Brewing Company
If you couldn’t tell by the name, this micro-brewery is a master of IPA’s. Of course, if you’re not a fan of hops that’s not all they have. Their seasonal blends are pretty special too. One unique thing about this spot is the ability to reserve a fire pit. This makes Hop Haus a great spot for date night. Or even just catching up with a good friend.
Homes for Sale in Fitchburg
Fitchburg has a balanced blend of new developments (for example Highlands of Seminole or Jamestown) and well-maintained homes older homes. Across the board, the median home value in Fitchburg is $315,900. Search for homes for sale in Fitchburg here.