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Celebrating 50 years of Rails to Trails in Wisconsin

  • ##The Elroy-Sparta State Trail was established in 1965, the first rail to trail conversion in the nation. Entering one of the three tunnels along the trail.
  • ##Wisconsin is celebrating 50 years of rails to trails this year, beginning with a rededication of the Elroy-Sparta State Trail on National Trails Day, June 6. Exiting one of the tunnels.
  • ##The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is a favorite Wisconsin bicycling destination. Traveling between Sparta and Elroy, the 32.5-mile trail goes through the communities of Norwalk, Wilton and Kendall, passing by wetlands, prairies, farmland and unglaciated areas.
  • ##The trail goes past several historic depots, including the Kendall Depot, which now serves as the trail headquarters.
  • ##The early trail was little more than a gravel road.
  • ##Picnicing along the trail is easier today than in the early years, with three established picnic areas along the trail.
  • ##Today many of the rail trails are surfaced with a crushed limestone screening or paved with asphalt.

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Last Revised: March 16, 2015