FOX47 NEWS - DNR Bike Trail Enforcement

Jeff Angileri
Jul 6, 2008, 6:24 PM

With a gorgeous three day weekend in southern Wisconsin, thousands of people spent the Fourth of July holiday outdoors at state parks.

But for some, riding the trails meant paying extra fines. In Green County, DNR park rangers made sure people were enjoying the parks legally.

The old train depot in downtown New Glarus is a popular rest stop for people pedaling the Sugar River State Park Trail.

It's nice because you've got towns all along you can stop and check out the local merchants, says Sarah Whitehouse of Madison. We just really enjoy it.

We like the Sugar River trail a lot, says Carol Porter of California. We've also done Elroy-Sparta and we like that, and we're going to try the new trail today with all the tunnels that comes down from Belleville.

Perched along the 22-mile-long trail, DNR park rangers are making sure people are enjoying the scenic trips legally.

Wisconsin parks are not tax supported. They rely almost entirely on user fees to operate and maintain the trails. The money is needed more than ever, following June's record rainfall.

Steven Johnston, DNR Manager in Green County, says, That spot actually had fish swimming down the trail. We had a lot of trees down, a lot of washouts, a lot of branches. The trail tread itself--we're constantly filling holes caused by erosion from water and animals. Cutting back the brush is a constant headache for us.

For those whose summer plans were postponed by the floods, the small fee is worth the exercise, scenery, and camaraderie that comes with biking Wisconsin's 43 trails.

Porter says, They're beautifully maintained, and it costs a lot of money to set them up, and they're increasing every year. I think everything we can do to support them we should.

Rick Whitehouse, of Madison, says, It's a lot cheaper than gas or cars on the roads, and they're more expensive. So it's a good thing...As long as they don't raise it up to high.

A one-year trail pass costs $20, and daily passes are only $4.

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