In 2022, Bike Fed focused on advancing important trails and projects throughout the state that can make a difference for Wisconsin cyclists. We are pleased to share an update to the original project highlight on the Granite Peak Expansion in Marathon County.
A priority project for 2022 was one of Wisconsin’s most known ski attractions in the state: Granite Peak. The slopes are nestled into Rib Mountain State Park, which is currently undergoing its scheduled master planning process through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This process could provide northern Wisconsin with more exciting opportunities for mountain bikers.
DNR master planning involves laying out the future of what our outdoor recreation opportunities look like in different sectors of the state. In the case of Rib Mountain State Park, the master planning process has huge implications for cyclists, local economies, tourism opportunities, and so much more. As DNR works on the new master plan, one option for the future of the park and Granite Peak could allow for mountain biking opportunities throughout both Granite Peak and broader Rib Mountain. An expansion like the one being considered could draw outdoor enthusiasts from not just all over the state, but all over the country.
Currently, DNR is considering four options for the new master plan, ranging from Option 1 which has very little changes to the park, to Option 4 which has many added amenities including the new mountain biking opportunities. After its first public input period last fall, the most popular of the options were Option 1 (little changes) and Option 4 (many changes).
Because public input and stakeholder insights are key to DNR’s decision making for master planning, Bike Fed is doing everything we can to ensure Option 4 is adopted. Cycling infrastructure opportunities like this don’t come along every day, so we are pulling out all the stops to show the value of these incredible new mountain biking options.
For the next public input period we will be calling on cyclists throughout the state to share the importance of elevating bike infrastructure through our public lands. Please feel free to follow along with the DNR’s process yourself by visiting the Rib Mountain State Park public page, or even signing up for updates directly from DNR.
The Bike Fed is pleased to provide an update on the Rib Mountain priority project. On December 14th, the Natural Resources Board (NRB) moved to approve the DNR’s proposed Master Plan for Rib Mountain State Park, making only a few minor amendments to the plan.
The approved plan includes two brand new opportunities for cyclists:
- A multi-use natural trail encircling the base of Rib Mountain, creating a recreational opportunity for cyclists, hikers, and walkers of all skill and comfort levels.
- 12-20 miles of mountain biking trails suitable for a variety of skill levels. Both “flow” and “gravity single-track” trails are included in the approved Master Plan.
This is a very exciting opportunity for the state of Wisconsin, one that will enhance Rib Mountain State Park as a year-round recreational hub. These new recreational developments at an iconic location will surely attract recreation seekers from around the state and the midwest. In addition to providing more recreational opportunities, this project will provide a long-term economic benefit to Rib Mountain and the surrounding Wausau area by drawing in more tourists and trail users.
With the approval of the Master Plan, the project is nearing its closing stages before the physical work at the park begins. The Bike Fed is proud to have been included in this planning process, and we are so grateful for our partners and advocates from around the state who have supported this project throughout the process.
If you are interested in reviewing the finalized Master Plan for Rib Mountain State Park, you can check it out here.
Additionally, to view the NRB’s amendments to the plan, you can find that document here.