Recreational Trails Program
Featured Project


20,000th Recreational Trails Program Project: Wild Goose State Trail

We are excited to share that Wisconsin's Wild Goose State Trail was the 20,000th trail to be entered into the Recreational Trails Program Database!

The RTP Database now houses 20,000 RTP Projects! These projects have received $944,000,000 and have been matched by over $562,000,000, for a total of $1,506,000,000. RTP funding requires at least a 20% match. Please note that RTP funding has leveraged nearly 60% in additional support from other sources of funding!

by American Trails Staff

October 01, 2013

Pedestrian bridge along the trail

Wisconsin's first "cooperative" trail is owned by the Wisconsin DNR while Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties develop, maintain, and operate the trail. The State provided RTP funding with a match by local sources. The Friends of Dodge County Parks, a non-profit citizens group, raised money through donations to improve the trail, with support from local clubs and trail organizations. This 34-mile multi-use trail is used in the summer by hikers and bikers, with an adjacent pathway for horseback riders. In the winter the trail is used for riding snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, as well as for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The trail was built on an abandoned railroad grade along the edge of the vast Horicon Marsh, which is both a National Wildlife Refuge and State Wildlife Area. Visitors enjoy the wealth of bird life, wildflowers, and beautiful rural scenery of southeastern Wisconsin. The Wild Goose State Trail has also been an economic engine for communities along the trail.

In FY 2014, this project was awarded $31,000 in RTP funds and $31,000 was provided as a match. Since the inception of the Recreational Trails Program in 1993, this project has been awarded five RTP grants totaling $114,000 and $114,000 through other support for a grand total of $228,000.

Wisconsin's Wild Goose State Trail (Photo from the Smith Family)

Wisconsin's Wild Goose State Trail (Photo from the Smith Family)