On December 12, 2023 large crowds were gathered in Egg Harbor – but it wasn’t for a fish boil.
Standing room only audiences filled the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor to provide input and hear from leaders in support of a series of proposed bicycle and walking trails that will link Door County communities. The initiative started with a plan to link Egg Harbor’s village beach with the county beach at Frank E. Murphy Park. Three more trail segments are also in the planning stages including: a path to connect Fish Creek and Egg Harbor (which received TAP funding for a feasibility study this year), Landmark Resort to Sunny Point Road and a path along Rainbow Ridge Court.
A presentation was given by Patrick Lydon, a landscape architect with the National Park Service. Patrick is one of two NPS staffers who have been working to determine safe routes for biking and walking in Door County that would have minimal impact on natural areas and habitats at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. Representatives from local governments across the Peninsula also shared their commitment to providing safer alternatives to car travel – particularly for school children, families, and young people who come to Door County for summer work. Support for the trail system was also offered by Kirsten Finn of the Bike Fed, Senator Andres Jacque, and Julie Gilbert of Destination Door County.
Brian Stephens, CEO of Door County Medical Center, shared that Door County is currently the 9th healthiest county in Wisconsin – according to the 2022 Wisconsin County Health ratings. While 9 out of 72 is pretty good, Stephens wants Door County to do even better. He sees the increased opportunities to be active in the outdoors afforded by the proposed trail system as one way to get there. Representative Joel Kitchens also challenged residents to think bigger and work toward a trail system that would connect the entire peninsula.
With the strong support of local leaders, state elected officials, trail advocates and residents alike we can all look forward to a future where Door County is a destination for active transportation. Interested in hearing more or providing your input? Watch a video of the public input meeting or take a brief survey which is being kept open through December 31st due to an overwhelming response. Village of Egg Harbor President, John Heller stressed – both in the meeting and in the Door County Pulse – that community input is essential and “feedback from the survey will help guide the process as we work to create more connected communities.”