Yahara trail map

A map shows a quarter-acre of land in the town of Pleasant Springs that would be purchased for a trail extension.

Dane County officials are looking to increase access to the Lower Yahara River Trail for recreation and the nearby Door Creek Wetlands for restoration.

On Feb. 18, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the county intends to purchase about a quarter-acre of land in the Town of Pleasant Springs for the Lower Yahara River Trail and the Door Creek Wildlife Area. The cost of the .23-acre parcel is $55,000, and the purchase will be reviewed in the coming weeks by the Dane County Board.

The land will provide an access point for a future phase of the trail, allowing it to bypass a designated wetland area, and also provide “much- needed access” for restoration of the Door Creek Wetlands, according to a Feb. 18 county news release. The wetland project is intended to reduce future flooding and improve the area’s ability to store large amounts of runoff from heavy rain events.

Parisi said with the added entrance, more county residents and visitors will be able to access the trail “and enjoy our beautiful outdoors.”

“This acquisition may seem small, but it brings us one step closer to making future phases of the Lower Yahara River Trail become a reality,” he said in the news release.

The property contains frontage on Fairview Street to the east and is bordered by the Door Creek Wildlife Area on the west. A small parking area is planned for the parcel, along with a kiosk with trail and wildlife information. The purchase price for the approximately .23-acre parcel is $55,000.

The new easement is the county’s latest work to expand the Lower Yahara River Trail after buying 160 acres of land in the Door Creek Wildlife Area for $232,200 last year. That property includes frontage on the northern edge of Lake Kegonsa as well as Door Creek, and is open to fishing, hiking and skiing.

According to the county news release, county officials plan to “work with communities along the Yahara River over the next several years” to extend the trail from Lake Farm County Park to Viking County Park, near the City of Stoughton. When completed, the Lower Yahara River Trail is expected to be about 11 miles long.

In the summer of 2017 the first phase of the Lower Yahara River Trail was completed between McDaniel Park in the Village of McFarland and Lake Farm County Park near the Capital City Bike Trail.

“The nearly 2.5-mile stretch of pathway is one of the most significant trail projects Dane County has ever embarked upon and features the longest multi-use boardwalk in the state of Wisconsin,” according to the news release.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.