Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Marks Start of Final Phase of Construction for Lower Yahara River Trail

May 23, 2017
Josh Wescott 608-266-9069
County Executive

             Much-Anticipated Trail Along Lake Waubesa to Link Lake Farm County Park, McFarland


One of the most significant trail projects Dane County has ever embarked upon will enter the final phase of construction in the coming days, County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.  The Lower Yahara River Trail, a nearly two mile section of trail along scenic Lake Waubesa is expected to be completed by late summer.


"Excitement is building for the grand-opening of what will truly be one of the most popular outdoor destinations in our county," Parisi said.  "If there's good working weather in the next several months we're hoping the Lower Yahara River Trail will help make some incredible memories before cooler weather returns.”


This first segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail connects Lake Farm County Park, near the Capital City Bike Trail, with McDaniel Park in McFarland.


As part of the final phase of construction, large rocks will be placed near the shore of the trail to help prevent winter ice build-ups along the bridge and boardwalk structures.  These rocks will break up sheets of ice that form on the lake in wintertime and shift around with the wind. 

The second main part of this final phase is paving work on a nearly one-mile section of the trail from Libby Road to the trail bridge at Yahara River.  Bids for that work will be released in the coming weeks with actual paving likely to occur in late-summer.


A combination of federal and Dane County dollars are funding the nearly $9 million project, which is being done under a contract administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  Jahnke General Contractors, Inc. is the construction contractor on the project.  The work is being done in conjunction with those agencies, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, and the Ho-Chunk Nation.


Over the next several years, the County intends to work with communities along the Yahara River to extend the trail south to Stoughton.  Dollars to pay for the design of the second segment of the trail are included in Parisi's 2017 budget.