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County opens winter rec trail

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The Waupaca Winter Recreation Trail includes a back loop that crosses over the Waupaca River on this bridge. Submitted Photo

Golf course allows skiing, snowshoeing on groomed trail

By Angie Landsverk

Waupaca County Parks opened its Waupaca Winter Recreational Trail earlier this month.

Located on the grounds of the Waupaca Country Club, the groomed trail is open to the public for cross-country skiing (classical and skate), snowshoeing and fat-tire biking.

‘It’s roughly 3 miles total separated into two loops,” said Waupaca County Parks Supervisor Ann Casamassa.
The front loop has a bypass, or shortcut, in case it is too long for someone, she said.

The back loop includes the trail crossing over the Waupaca River on a bridge.

With the terrain varying, the trail is great for beginners but also long enough that it is challenging for advanced skiers as well, Casamassa said.

The daily trail pass is $5, with a seasonal pass available for $25.

Daily pass envelopes are at the trailhead in the parking lot.

Users may purchase a seasonal pass through an envelope or by visiting the county parks office in the courthouse.

Casamassa stressed that no walking or hiking is allowed on the trail without snowshoes.

“We’re trying to keep the trail as flat as possible,” she said.

Those on snowshoes are asked to stay on the outer portion of the groomed trail.

Trail runs through golf course

The country club is located at 1330 Ware St., in Waupaca.

Casamassa said the country club generously allows its location to be used for the trail at no cost to the county.

“We’re in agreement that it’s a good resource for the county,” she said.

She reminds those who use the trail to remember it is privilege to be on the property and that they are to stay on the groomed trail at all times.

The county moved its Waupaca Winter Recreational Trail to this location in 2018, Casamassa said.

Prior to that, the county groomed part of the Wau-King Trail for it, she said.

That started around 2014 and included the portion of the trail from the high school all the way into King, Casamassa said.

After the county lost the space it used to store its grooming equipment and could not find another one in that area, the county found space in the city of Waupaca, she said.

That resulted in moving the trail to the country club.

“We’ve opened there every year since we’ve been there,” she said.

With the lack of snow the past few winters, the seasons have been short ones.

Online trail updates

Trail updates are posted on several sites, Casamassa said.

For updates, go online to Waupaca County Parks and Recreation.

People may print it or upload it to their smartphone.

Another place to check for trail updates is the county parks and recreation Facebook page.

In addition, people may visit www.travelwisconsin.com/snowreport/crosscountry for updates about this trail, as well as other cross-country ski trails in the state.

The Waupaca Winter Recreational Trail came about after the Cronies Trail Crew approached Waupaca County with the idea, Casamassa said.

With the area known for its numerous summer outdoor recreational opportunities, the group wanted to do something for the winter, she said.

“The group fundraised roughly $40,000 for all the grooming equipment and donated it to the county,” Casamassa said. “It had really great community support right from the beginning.”

Creating such a trail also resulted in a new ski club starting.

She said the Waupaca Cross-Country Ski Club has contact information on Facebook.

“They were out there the first day. They had over 30 people out there,” Casamassa said of the first day the trail was open this season.

She said the ski club teaches cross-county skiing to children from a young age to high school age.

“Their membership has grown steadily since the trail has been around,” Casamassa said.

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