The first phase of Dane County’s Lower Yahara River Trail is officially complete.
On Sunday, County Executive Joe Parisi cut the ribbon for the first phase of the long-awaited project, which consists of a 2.5-mile recreational trail that runs alongside a railroad trestle between Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park in McFarland. The trail also offers users “picturesque views” of Lake Waubesa, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.
The trail features what’s believed to be the longest multi-use boardwalk in the state, an accessible fishing pier and two overlooks. The $8 million project received $3.7 million from Dane County and $4.3 million in federal funding.
Bridges that cross over Lake Waubesa and the Yahara River channel were installed throughout the summer and fall of 2016, and remaining boardwalk structures were placed over the winter. The final phase of construction, which commenced this spring, included the placement of large rocks near the shore of the trail to prevent ice build-ups.
The county intends to extend the trail south to Viking County Park near Stoughton over the next several years. When finished, the trail will be approximately 11 miles long. County officials put aside money in the current county budget to design the second part of the trail project.