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Trail Talk: Improvements coming to Peninsula State Park

Posted at 7:46 PM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 20:46:42-04

DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — Changes are coming to one of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks.

  • Video shows current trails at Peninsula State park
  • The DNR and non-profit group "Friends of Peninsula State Park" have worked on a plan to improve the trails
  • A new mountain bike trail system will span 19.7 miles.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Peninsula State Park is visited year-round.

Several improvements will be made to the park's trails, increasing sustainability and visitor experience, with the implementation of the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Master Plan.

Covering the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape, the plan includes wildlife areas, state parks, natural areas, state forests, and fishery areas within 5 counties: Door, Oconto, Marinette, Waupaca, and Shawano.

Peninsula State Park superintendent Eric Hyde says having a mountain bike trail people want to ride will be an exciting change.

"We still have quite a bit of work to do. Any project we do here on state lands, we have to go through a pretty rigorous review process where we review all the endangered species, all the plants, insects, animals, everything like that," explained Hyde.

The mountain bike trail will wind throughout the park, using the area's topography.

Community member Jeanne Flock says the park is a beautiful spot for these trails.

The new mountain bike trail system will span 19.7 miles.

"I think it will be a big asset and mountain biking is just exploding everywhere," said Flock.

Friends of Peninsula State Park, a nonprofit group in the area, helped to raise the funds towards the mountain bike trail.

"Friends of Peninsula State Park actually funded a consultant to put together a plan for mountain bike trails in the park,” said Hyde,) "they've raised over $600,000 to fully fund this. There's no state dollars going into this. But if all the reviews go through, we could start seeing some trail belt this fall."

In a public meeting on Tuesday at the Gibraltar Town Hall, the DNR had an opportunity for the community to meet staff, look at some maps of the plan, and ask questions.