Dane County and The City of Middleton is pleased to announce that the Pheasant Branch Conservancy Creek Corridor Trail has reopened after being closed for several years due to flooding. The City hosted a ceremony today, celebrating the reopening of the recently repaired, historic trail, followed by a “first run/walk/ride.”
“Dane County has a vibrant culture of biking, hiking, and walking and we are home to some of the best trails in the country,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This corridor trail enhances our resident’s quality of life and we are thrilled to have the restoration complete.”
The Trail was closed in 2018 after summer flooding damaged the trail, requiring six total bridge abutments and railing replacements, four culvert replacements, three culvert extensions, several landslide clean-ups, significant stream/ trail embankment restoration, and paving and pathway restoration.
"The flooding of 2018 did not dampen our members' support for the Creek Corridor and the Conservancy", noted Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy Co-President Pam Shannon. "From day one, we worked closely with the City of Middleton on safety issues due to significant storm damage and on creek corridor restoration planning."
While some initial repairs were completed by City and County staff, the remainder of the restoration was not completed until recently, with $328,985.44 in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and $900,000 from Dane County.
“We’re so excited to have the Corridor Creek Trail open again and more resilient to future storm events,” said Middleton Mayor Emily Kuhn. “We appreciate everyone’s patience while the trail was closed and look forward to welcoming everyone back to this outdoor attraction.”
The Corridor Creek trail follows a lush wooded creek through Middleton. Its east end is anchored by the beautiful Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Considered one of the most unique passive recreation areas in Dane County, more than 300 acres offer an upland oak savanna and lowland wetland prairie known for stunning shady trails, wooden footbridges, and river stepping stones. The Conservancy and Trail sees as many as 30,000 visitors a year.
“We are pleased to welcome back neighbors and friends to this gem of our community and Dane County,” said Parks and Recreation Director Kiley Scherer. “Pheasant Branch Conservancy, in the heart of Middleton, is one our region’s most valued connections to outdoor recreational destinations. As a core experience for our department, we hope everyone can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this paradise.”