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

County Exec Parisi: Dane County Secures Property for Development of New North Mendota Trail

January 10, 2018
Josh Wescott: 608-266-9069
County Executive

County, Local Governments Team to Build Off-Road Trail Linking Middleton, Waunakee


Today Dane County Executive Parisi announced the acquisition of a property in the Town of Westport that will be used to develop the much anticipated North Mendota Trail. Dane County, along with the Town of Westport, Village of Waunakee and City of Middleton have been working to complete various segments of the North Mendota Trail, which will eventually have links to Pheasant Branch Conservancy,  Lake Mendota County Park, Schumacher Farm County Park and Governor Nelson State Park.


“This new trail will not only link some of the fastest growing communities in our county, but also countless other outdoor recreational destinations that contribute to Dane County’s high quality of life,” Parisi said.  “This project has the added benefit of helping get bike traffic off Highway M, making the area safer for motorists and cyclists.


Dane County has negotiated acquisition of a 3.5 acre easement to help develop a nearly ¼ mile stretch of the trail connecting directly to Governor Nelson State Park via an existing underpass at County Highway M.  Included in the $100,000 cost of acquisition is a provision requiring the seller to grade the site for an appropriate slope for multi-use trail development.


The new easement is the County’s latest work with local governments to develop the North Mendota Trail.  Parisi’s 2018 budget includes $750,000 to kick-start construction of trail segments from County Highway M at Woodland Drive to the south and west toward Governor Nelson State Park.  County grant funding through Dane County’s “PARC and Ride” program supported work done by the Town of Westport to develop a segment of off-road trail along Woodland Drive from Mary Lake Road to County Highway M in 2016.  Parisi included $350,000 in prior county budgets for planning work needed to make the trail a reality. The County has partnered with the Town of Westport to use this funding to complete soil borings, identify preferred alignment, and provide preliminary design and construction documents for  the trail segment from Woodland Drive to North Shore Bay Drive.


Additionally, the Town of Westport has recently submitted a preliminary grant application for assistance on acquisition and development costs for the trail segment running along County Highway M just south of the current proposed acquisition.  The Dane County Park Commission will provide a grant award recommendation to the County Executive and Board of Supervisors once the grant application has been finalized.


A resolution approving the acquisition of the property was introduced recently by the Dane County Board.  The board will review the proposal in the upcoming weeks.