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After gathering ideas from the community over the spring and summer of 2023, a set of route options have been created and are ready for public input. Please visit to view routes, sign up for project updates, and see upcoming events.





Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has included $11 Million for the Walking Iron Rails-to-Trails conversion project in the County’s 2024 budget. The full press release highlighting the budget can be found here: Press Releases | Office of the County Executive (

Last March, the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad agreed to abandon about 3 miles of tracks in Dane County extending south from the Wisconsin River, at Sauk City, to a DNR parking lot adjacent to Highway 78. Dane County will take over this corridor and undertake a Rails-to-Trails conversion starting next spring that will connect to the Great Sauk State Trail via the new pedestrian bridge the two counties have partnered to construct across the Wisconsin River. Completion of both projects is expected by late-2025.

This Rails-to-Trails project is the first step in developing the Walking Iron Trail from the River to Mazomanie where connection to the existing Wolf Run Trail can be made.

The Gateway to The Driftless will continue to work diligently with our partner Villages of Cross Plains, Black Earth and Mazomanie, surrounding Townships, Dane County, and Groundswell Conservancy to complete the year-round multi-use Black Earth Creek Trail that is envisioned from Middleton to the Wisconsin River.

Trail updates

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