Darrin and Amanda Mann, members of the Cronies Trail Crew, ride fat bikes,
one of many silent sports they hope people will enjoy on a proposed Waupaca
Winter Recreational Trail. Submitted Photo from Amanda Mann
In 2003, an unnamed group of bicyclists decided to form Cronies Trail Crew and advocate for local silent sports in the Waupaca area.
Today, they have taken measures to build a trail system and are in the process of raising $40,000 for another system. “We are driven to develop and execute facilities for biking, running, hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing,” said Amanda Mann, Cronies Trail Crew board member.
To date, the group has hosted two bicycling events to raise money to supply the Waupaca City Parks and Hartman Creek State Park with bicycle racks. In 2006, they orchestrated a three day trail building workshop in partnership with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) at Hartman Creek State Park. Approximately 200 people attended from the Midwest with intentions on learning sustainable trail building techniques.
“Following the IMBA workshop, Hartman Creek State Park allowed us to build approximately 10 miles of sustainable mountain bike trail,” said Mann, noting that it took over 5,000 volunteer hours and the group still maintains the trail system.
Currently, the group is raising $40,000 to develop the Waupaca Winter Recreational Trail (W2RT). “The inspiration for the project was generated through silent sport enthusiasts, Waupaca Chamber of Commerce and many Waupaca business owners identifying the increased need for winter recreation,” said Mann. “The W2RT will utilize the Waupaca High School property, and sections of the Wau-King Trail, with an anticipated 5 miles of groomed trail available to classic and skate cross country skiing, fat biking, and snowshoeing.”
Partnering agencies include Waupaca High School; Wisconsin Veteran’s Home for storage of grooming equipment during the winter months; and Waupaca County Natural Resource Foundation as the Fiscal Agent for 501(c) (3) status. “Waupaca County Parks and Recreation has agreed to groom the trail system and adopt the equipment maintenance and repair,” said Mann.
The project cost includes the purchase of a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) with tracks, a groomer and trail signage. The group has raised $18,500 so far, has applied for two grants and is accepting donations. It has received donations from the Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE) Committee of Waupaca for $10,000, the Waupaca Foundry Inc. for $7,500, ThedaCare for $500 for trail signage, and Dr. Robert Wubben, orthopedic surgeon for $500. “This group realizes the value and potential for this recreational trail to support silent sports and to promote community, health and well-being,” said Mann.
More information about Cronies Trail Crew can be found on their Facebook page, by calling Darrin and Amanda Mann at (715)-256.0031, or by emailing email@example.com.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the project can send a check to:
Waupaca County Natural Resources Foundation
C/O Cronies Trail Crew
811 Harding St.
Waupaca, WI 54981