Dane County Executive Joe Parisi Announces County to Purchase Land to Make Capital City State Trail Safer

January 19, 2017
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today the intent to purchase 15 acres of land to expand the Capital Springs Recreational Area and help improve bike safety on the high traffic Capital City State Trail.


“The Capital City Bike Trail is one of the most popular in Dane County,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This acquisition is an important first step to making a high traffic crossing safer.”


The site, located at the junction of East Clayton Road and County Hwy MM, is strategically important for realigning the Capital City State Trail to improve safety and user experience. The acquisition paves the way for improving how the Capital City Rail crosses Hwy MM. Future crossing safety improvements will be considered in conjunction with the trail realignment.


The Capital Springs State Recreation Area (CSSRA) is a joint project of Dane County Parks and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which encompasses an area of 2,519 acres south of the City of Madison stretching from Upper Mud Lake north of Lake Waubesa west to the Nevin Fish Hatchery lands. The CCSRA is comprised of eight different recreational units focusing on the unique natural and water resources with a management vision for each zone.   


In his 2017 budget Dane County Executive Joe Parisi allocated $420,000 in this budget to start maintenance and repairs on over 9 miles of the Capital City Trail. This will be a multi-year restoration to improve the safety and ride of this well used trail. Built in 2001, this trail sees over 125,000 users each year.


“Dane County has some of the best biking in the county,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This is one of the many reasons people are living in and moving to Dane County more than anywhere else in Wisconsin.”


The purchase price of $272,400 from the Schuepbach trust is based upon a County-commissioned appraisal. Dane County has received a preliminary award of State Stewardship grant funds for this acquisition. 


A resolution approving the purchase was introduced Thursday, January 12 to the County Board. Once approved by the board and signed by Dane County Executive Parisi the county will close on the property later this spring. The City of Fitchburg has passed a resolution, supporting the purchase.