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March 24, 2015

A covered bridge on the Sugar River State Trail.  Photo by Joe Warren.A covered bridge on the Sugar River State Trail. Photo by Joe Warren.

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Rail Trailblazers contest is heating up with the first 16 trails in the bracket-busting tournament being narrowed down to the Great 8 on Thursday. It's all part of the 50th anniversary of the rails to trails program in the state this year.

There is still time to get in on the fun. The 16 state trails established after the very first rail-to-trail, the Elroy-Sparta, are going head-to-head, vying for the public's vote. People can vote once a day for their favorite trail and help them advance to the championship.

The 16 trails are broken down into the following four geographic brackets (date indicates year established):

Bearskin State Trail - 1973
Tuscobia State Trail - 1966
Gandy Dancer State Trail - 1990
Red Cedar State Trail - 1973

North central
Ahnapee State Trail - 1970
Great River State Trail - 1986
Buffalo River State Trail - 1976
Chippewa River State Trail - 1990

South central
La Crosse River State Trail - 1978
400 State Trail - 1988
Hillsboro State Trail - 1988
Wild Goose State Trail - 1986

Glacial Drumlin State Trail - 1984
Sugar River State Trail - 1972
Military Ridge State Trail - 1981
Pecatonica State Trail - 1974

To take part in the fun, go to the DNR Facebook page ( and click on the "State Trail Contest" tab. Then, click on one state trail in each matchup and fill out the short form at the bottom. The trails with the most votes by midnight Wednesday, March 25 move on to the Great 8 on Thursday.

Each person casting a vote will be entered in a random drawing for a prize package consisting of a 2015 Wisconsin state park sticker, a 2015 Wisconsin state trail pass and a three-year subscription to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. Entrants can vote once per day from March 18-April 7. The winning trail and the winning entrant will be announced on Wednesday, April 8.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on state trails, contact Brigit Brown, 608-266-2183 or Paul Holtan, DNR parks, forests and recreation public affairs manager, 608-267-7517; for Facebook questions contact Trish Nitschke, DNR social media coordinator, 920 360-3252

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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