50th Anniversary of Rail Trails in Wisconsin

June 6, 2015
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the rail trails program in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is very proud to claim the Elroy- Sparta as the first rail trail purchase in the nation. This was the beginning of the great Wisconsin Trail System which now consists of 41 state trails. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) are partnering the WDNR Parks bureau to organize events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary this year.
There will be a celebration at the Elroy - Sparta Trail on Saturday – June 6, 2015 beginning at 2pm. Leading up to the 2:00 pm event, there will be riders from each community along the Elroy-Sparta joining in a ride towards the trail headquarters in Kendall. FWSP invites other trail Friends Groups to organize celebrations for this event as well on June 6th and to have a simultaneous ride or walk on all of the trails beginning at 1:00 pm. This date is also the first day of Wisconsin’s Free Fun Weekend when trail pass fees, vehicle admission stickers and ATV/UTV registration sticker requirements are waived for Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Trails. If this doesn't fit your schedule please consider organizing a 50th anniversary event on another date during 2015 or co-branding an existing event.
Other ideas to consider:

  • Organize a trail ride for Friends members and the public to publicize the 50th Anniversary during the summer/fall season
  • Hold a triathlon, 5K run/walk, a trail “Open House”, a guided hike/ interpretive hike, or organize a work project along the trail to celebrate/commemorate 50 years of trails in Wisconsin.
  • There will be a logo for the 50th celebration and posters and a commemorative emblem that will be available to post along the trail and to promote this 50th Anniversary for the trail system throughout the state – consider putting one along your trail.
  • Consider using the 50th Anniversary logo for t-shirts or other merchandise that your group may have printed this year. The logo will be available soon.
Please have your Friends Group help celebrate this great event in 2015!
Happy Trails,
Bill Zager
President of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks