Elcho plans for new bicycle and pedestrian trail

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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ELCHO, Wis. (WSAW) - If you like to walk and bike, you can look forward to checking out a new trail in Elcho. The town is working on the first phase of three of their bicycle and pedestrians trail

The main goal of the trail is to provide a safe space for people to walk and bike away from the highway. Children walk directly along the shoulder of Highway 45 after school. The new trail will provide a barrier between kids and the road.

“There’s a lot of traffic in summer so I was really concerned about the safety of them,” said David Visser, School Board President, Elcho.

Visser is a concerned parent, and Elcho School Board President, advocating for the trail.

“Right now there is no way of getting though Elcho without going on Highway 45,” said Charles F. Wetzel, Elcho Area Health Planning.

That’s why Wetzel is fundraising with the ‘Elcho Area Health Planning’ group to make the trail happen. They’re in the design stage of the first phase now.

Phase one will run along Highway 45 and connect Enterprise Road to the part at the north end of Otter Lake. Phase 2 will extend south of town to meet County Road B. And Phase 3 will continue the trail north of town to County Road G.

Map of plans for trail in Elcho
Map of plans for trail in Elcho(courtesy: Charles Wetzel)

When it’s complete you’ll be able to avoid the highway all the way up through Rhinelander and Crandon. But that won’t be fore a while. Construction for the first phase is scheduled to be complete by 2025.

‘Elcho Area Health Planning’ made the trail their mission to promote a healthy lifestyle in their community, but Wetzel said it will also benefit the economy.

“Economically we’ve seen the big benefit that trails have had in other areas,” said Wetzel.

Wetzel’s referring to Antigo and Rhinelander, whose trails brought in tourism. However, Wetzel said that’s not the most important part.

“This will give us a safe trail for people to go on whether they’re hiking, biking, walking their pets,” said Wetzel.

Phase one costs about $700,000. About 80% is being funded by a TAP grant. ‘Elcho Area Health Planning’ is fundraising the rest.

If you’d like to donate you can email EAHP by clicking here or go to their website.

Otherwise you can mail to:

Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc.

PO Box 354

Elcho, WI 54428

Elcho Area Health Planning information
Elcho Area Health Planning information(courtesy: Charles Wetzel)