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

Development of Much Anticipated North Mendota Trail Moves Forward

November 01, 2018
County Executive

Legislation to Obtain Key Stretch of Corridor Will Be Introduced Tonight


MADISON – Expansion of the North Mendota Trail will take another step forward with legislation to obtain a key stretch of land that will create a trail connection to Governor Nelson State Park, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


Pending approval by the Dane County Board, the legislation will authorize the acquisition of a multi-use conservation and trail easement of approximately 5.8 acres, part of a larger parcel known as the Community of Bishops Bay, just west of and running parallel to County Highway M in the Town of Westport. 


“The vision for the North Mendota Trail would not be possible without the critical public and private partnerships that are moving this project forward,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Once completed, The North Mendota Trail will join Dane County’s other destination trails in providing a restorative connection to the outdoors, a safer commute to home or work, and yet another example of the amenities that contribute to our high quality of life.”


The easement represents one of several phases needed to make the much-anticipated off-road pedestrian and bicycle trail a reality. The cost of the approximately 5.8 acre trail easement and trail construction is $200,000. Funds for the purchase are available in the Dane County Conservation Fund.


Once complete, the North Mendota Trail will link several communities in Dane County – the Town of Westport, the Village of Waunakee and the City of Middleton – as well as recreation destinations in those communities, including Schumacher Farm County Park, Governor Nelson State Park, Mendota County Park, and the Pheasant Branch Conservancy. It will also help increase cyclist and motorist safety in the rapidly developing corridor.


The North Mendota Trail is the result of partnerships between Dane County, the communities participating in the trail’s development, and private landowners. Progress on the trail has been steadily moving forward.  Earlier this year, the County acquired 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. 


Parisi’s 2018 budget included $750,000 to kick-start construction of other trail segments from County Highway M at Woodland Drive to the south and west, toward Governor Nelson State Park. 

In 2016, Dane County grant funding through the 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.