Rail to Trails 50th Anniversary - Elroy-Sparta Friends Group

downloadEveryone is excited about the Elroy-Sparta 50th Anniversary, the oldest rail to trail in the country. The Wisconsin DNR declared the weekend of June 6th, a free ride weekend. 50th anniversary events are being planned in trail towns. A tunnel tour ride is planned in Kendall and groups of riders from the trail towns are expected to converge at the Kendall Depot around the lunch hour with food for sale by the local Kendall Lions club.The climax of the day will begin at 2pm with a welcome, recognition of dignitaries, a ribbon cutting, reading of a proclamation, and former Governor Tommy Thompson as the keynote speaker.
The Elroy-Sparta Trail Friends Group is a nonprofit organization composed of a Board of Directors representing the Elroy-Sparta trail towns of Elroy, Kendall, Wilton, Norwalk, and Sparta. A manager recruits staff and volunteers for the operation of the historic and renovated Kendall Depot.The depot is the official trail headquarters and principal place for trail riders to get their trail passes. The Friends Group established a network of businesses and establishments to sell passes making it easier for riders to obtain passes. With 60,000riders a year using the trail, it is critical to make the purchase of passes as convenient as possible.
The Elroy-Sparta Friends Group wants each and every rider to feel welcome and appreciated. Riders want to have fun. They often come great distances including foreign countries for the experience of rural scenic beauty, a chance to see wildlife, and, of course, to travel through the special and unique tunnels – one that is ¾ mile long.
To provide a welcoming and memorable ride, the Elroy-Sparta Friends group works hard to ensure friendly, knowledgeable staff. Riders will find accommodation brochures along points of the trail. Visitors without bikes are provided a good selection of bikes to rent with help in selection and seat adjustment. Riders can also purchase memory keepsakes, T-shirts, and other items to enhance the memory of the event. The Elroy-Sparta Group maintains a museum that features historic, pictures, artifacts from the railroad era.
The Elroy-Sparta Friends group has also created a mobile ready website, http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com/. The effort to provide good customer service paid off with the Elroy-Sparta Friends Group receiving the most “Family Friendly” trail award in 2014.