The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) finalized a new Master Development Plan for Blue Mound State Park in 2018. Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) bike club contributed a plan to redevelop the bike trails. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved the proposed Master Plan at its June 2018 meeting. Part of the proposal included rerouting Holy Schist and Pokerville trail segments so that the trail could be kept open for public use more days each year and be more readily maintained in good condition. CORP and volunteers have been working diligently to make these trail updates a reality.

Holy Schist

The proposed reroute will replace a steep section of trail at the top of Kipp’s Climb with a switchback. The existing trail follows the fall line of the ravine and has become badly eroded. Due to the steep slope of the hillside in this location, a simple patch of the erosion does not last. Grade reversals have been used to fix similar problem areas but the slope of the hillside in this location would result in grade reversals with an extremely steep and unsustainable downhill side. Most of the original trail has already been replaced with switchback turns and the rerouted trail is holding up well.


  • The short reroute, east on the map above, will replace a single turn with a stack of three switchback turns (blue). The existing turn is beginning to funnel water and erosion is setting in.
  • The second, middle reroute will put the trail above a seep that is active into the early part of riding season most years. It will also cross the Military Ridge Connector at a single point instead of the staggered crossing of the current trail.
  • The third, west segment on the map above, is the new trail that will complete the loop on the west side of the Military Ridge Connector trail.

Volunteer participation will be essential to construct the first two reroutes by hand. The loop completion will be constructed with a rental excavator due both to the amount of trail that needs to be built and the desire to have a smooth trail for the downhill segment of the loop.

Other Projects

  • The Gneiss trail repairs from the 2023 spring flood damage are slated to be completed this year. The remaining washed-out segments are mainly on the Green loop. The washed-out trail segments will be broken up with a rototiller, leveled, and then packed using a plate compactor. The quality of the repairs done in 2023 using this method was excellent.
  • A few locations on the trails built last year have developed chronic wet areas. Biking trails impacted include the new trail to the east of the pool and the Holy Schist reroute east of Flint Rock Trail. Some of this will require rock armoring for a permanent repair. Building a rock loader for the Muck Truck to move rocks larger than was previously capable will result in armored trail segments that are more durable and easier for riders to navigate.
  • The trailhead kiosk will be getting a new map (below). The new map uses updated GPS tracks. Gneiss will be getting maps at all trail intersections. Kevin Swenson approved a simplified design from CORP President Ben Neff.
Simplified trail map


Trail Steward: Walter Hougas, [email protected]
Blue Mound Park Manager: Kevin Swenson, [email protected]
CORP:,, Instagram: @madcitydirt.mtb
Master Development Plan:
Wisconsin Natural Resources Board:


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