The Omaha Trail is nestled in Juneau County, not far from the Elroy-Sparta. Like its better-known counterpart, the 12.5 mile trail passes through iconic sandstone formations before arriving at the trail’s 875-foot-long tunnel. As one of only three trails in Wisconsin to have a tunnel, the Omaha Trail serves as a fun biking destination for anyone looking to get off the beaten path.
Unfortunately, the lower attention given to the Omaha Trail has resulted in a lower budget for its maintenance. Since the trail was paved in the mid-80s, it has yet to see paving maintenance. Cracks and potholes on the limestone surface have been an ongoing issue, and a recent landslide has resulted in part of the trail being diverted onto the road below and narrowed further in.
Bike Fed has been working alongside the Juneau County Parks Department and more recently the Office of Outdoor Recreation to get the County resources it needs to submit for newly available federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding. Up until recently, the biggest difference between the Elroy-Sparta and the Omaha, in regards to trail maintenance and upkeep, was that the Elroy-Sparta had dedicated advocates behind it pushing it towards the finish line. Bike Fed is now pushing to give the same advocacy efforts to the Omaha Trail.
Funding availability is of utmost importance to get this trail the maintenance it needs. We need the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to ask for additional Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) dollars, and we need the legislature to agree to accept them. Reach out to your legislators today to let them know you’d like them to increase TAP funding in the next budget. To find your state legislators, click here.