Flat gravel trail with bushes and grass on both sides and a blue sky with wispy white clouds during summer.

A Tale of Extending A Recreational Trail In Southeastern Wisconsin

Advocates for a local network of recreational trails are promoting a major step forward for the planned extension of a trail in Racine County.

Reporting for WUWM 89.7 FM, Chuck Quirmbach details the often lengthy process of expanding a recreational trail in Wisconsin. His story covers efforts to add 11 miles to the White River State Trail, which currently stretches about 19 miles along an abandoned railroad corridor between Elkhorn and Dover. The extension will go east between Union Grove and Sturtevant.

About six years ago, the Union Grove Rails to Trails group had the idea to extend the trail, which meant purchasing land that belonged to the Canadian Pacific railroad. They focused on local outreach and eventually garnered support from State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). The plan is to use funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and Racine County. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a tentative deal in place with the railroad.

Assuming things stay on track, the next step is determining how the trail should be built, based on who will get to use the trail. Considerations are being given to allow snowmobiles, UTVs, and fat tire bikes, in addition to traditional hikers and bikers. These decisions will impact what the surface of the trail will look like.

Read or listen to the full story here.

Featured image by Joshua Mayer, 2012.

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