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WinMan Trails open for the season as trail system launches fundraising campaign

Katie Thoresen
Trail expansion is part of WinMan Trails' phase II development.

While the Northwoods weather went right from winter to summer, the trails in the area needed a little time to catch up.

Silent sports groups ask people to stay off many trails in the springtime while the dirt is soft to help prevent damage.

Most of Washburn in Rhinelander and Zip Trails in Minocqua opened in early May. Last week, Jack Lake in Antigo opened to riders.

As of Friday, most of WinMan Trails in Manitowish Waters are ready to ride.

“We’re able to open again the majority of our trails, but there is still some wet conditions out there. Just be mindful of any signage you see,” said Issac Cowart, Director of Operations at WinMan.

He says as recently as the first week of May some trails still had several inches of snow.

If you are heading out there this weekend, there’s a few new things you’ll notice.

“The upper parking lot that used to be there is sort of influx. It’s a construction zone right now as we’re building out what we call WinMan Park. But they’ll see expanded parking in the lower parking lot to make up for those lost spots and we actually gained some more parking there,” said Cowart.

Riders will also notice larger, easier to read trail markers.

These changes come as WinMan Trails launches its Phase II initiative.

It includes expanding mileage, creating gathering spaces, and a new pump track.

Cowart says WinMan is 100% donation funded. It doesn’t get any money from the town or county.

It’s launching a $500,000 fundraiser. WinMan is also introducing a membership system for year-round or seasonal users.

“WinMan Trails is still free and open to the community, but we’re encouraging our users to support us through membership as well as through the fundraising campaign so that we can do even more, we can do it even quicker, we can do it even better,” said Cowart.

You can learn more about what Phase II entails on the WinMan website.

There’s also an open house May 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the trail system.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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