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Granite Peak is one of, if not the most well-known ski area in the state. 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). 

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, this master planning process has huge implications for cyclists, local economies, tourism opportunities, and so much more. DNR is currently working on a new master plan that could allow for mountain biking opportunities throughout Granite Peak and broader Rib Mountain – something that could and would draw outdoor enthusiasts from not just all over the state, but all over the country.

Master planning involves going through a number of checks and balances, so to speak, in order to ensure public input is taken into consideration, budgeting and maintenance factors are accounted for, and local wishes are prioritized. The DNR issued four options in its first public input period, ranging from Option 1 which had very few changes to the park, to Option 4 which had many added amenities, including the new mountain biking opportunities. 

Bike Fed is doing everything we can to ensure these amazing cycling opportunities are brought to life through the master planning process for Rib Mountain State Park and Granite Peak. That includes meeting with local stakeholders, state agencies, and interested parties to make sure we are presenting a cohesive and compelling case for Option 4 to prevail. Additionally, we spread the word to anyone who would listen to submit commentary during DNR’s public input periods on why Option 4 is the right choice for Rib Mountain State Park’s master plan.

This advocacy work paid off in a big way when the DNR released a summary of the comments received during the public input period, noting that a whopping 77% of respondents were in favor of Option 2, which would provide a multi-purpose trail encircling the mountain suitable for biking and hiking/walking, and 70% of respondents supported Option 4, which would provide an extensive network of approximately 12 to 20 miles of mountain biking trails, located in both the existing lease area and elsewhere in the park, that accommodate a variety of skill levels.

While DNR continues to evaluate how best to proceed with the master planning process, they will do so with the knowledge that a vast majority of park users and stakeholders want to see more cycling opportunities throughout the park, and Bike Fed will continue advocating with our agency partners for exactly that.

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As DNR works on its next recommendation, stay up-to-date by subscribing to Bike Fed newsletters on how you can make your voice heard throughout this process.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Tourism