BLACK RIVER FALLS -- A ribbon cutting marking the official opening of the new city of Black River Falls recreational trail and tunnel will be Friday, May 5.
The project – which included construction of three miles of new trail and the construction of an underpass under state Hwy. 54 – was more than 20 years in the making. The trail eliminates an unsafe crossing across four lanes of Hwy. 54 and connects additional lodging and business facilities.
“This project is a huge benefit to the community, to our businesses and of course for the trail users,” said Chris Hardie, executive director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce. “This project is the result of strong community and organizational collaboration. Working together is essential in a smaller community like ours because we can accomplish more with finite financial resources.”
Hardie credits the lead work of the Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department and trail administrator Jon Schweitzer for obtaining trail right-of-ways, easements and grant funding to help pay for the project. Other agencies or groups that played a role include the city of Black River Falls, the town of Brockway, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Transportation the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce and various private stakeholders.
The multiple-use aspect of the trail will allow use by ATVs, UTVs, dual sport motorcyclists, snowmobiles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10 a.m. and will include brief remarks from state and local dignitaries.
The trails open for the season to the public on Friday, May 12.