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In 2022, Bike Fed is focusing on advancing important trails and projects throughout the state that can make a difference for Wisconsin cyclists. This month’s project highlight: the Peace Trail in Rock County.

The Peace Trail in southern Wisconsin is another one of Bike Fed’s 2022 priority projects. Unlike many of the other projects we’re focusing on within Connectors & Connections, this trail has been in the works for over two decades, with dedicated stakeholders slowly but surely making progress over the years.

The vision for the Peace Trail is to connect the cities of Beloit and Janesville with an off-road transportation corridor for bicycling and pedestrian uses. Once completed, the Peace Trail will connect north to Janesville’s segment of the Ice Age Trail and further north to the Glacial River Trail and the central Wisconsin trail system. To the south, the Peace Trail will eventually connect through City of Beloit trails to the northern Illinois trail system. As with so many trail projects throughout the state, the biggest obstacle to getting the Peace Trail completed has been funding.

Last fall, Bike Fed formed our Council of Advocates to better understand the cycling needs and opportunities around the state – opportunities like the Peace Trail. At our first meeting, we heard from two Advocates who were at the forefront of the Peace Trail project, and from that conversation, we set up follow-up meetings to see how Bike Fed could be helpful in getting this project across the finish line.

Through the winter, we continued to meet and be a resource to those on the frontlines of getting the Peace Trail completed. With only $40,000 to go, stakeholders approached Rock County for the final piece of funding. Bike Fed helped in submitting a letter of support showcasing the benefits of a connecting trail like this for southern Wisconsin. We’re excited to share that Rock County agreed to provide the final funding for the trail!

Our appreciation goes out to the Rock Trail Coalition, the Janesville Velo Club, and the Stateline Spinners, who have worked tirelessly to get this project completed for cyclists in southern Wisconsin and beyond, and Rock County for their support. Stay tuned for more details on a construction timeline to know when you can enjoy the Peace Trail in its entirety!