Daily Bread for 5.7.23: Rail Trails

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will see intermittent clouds with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:40 AM and sunset 8:02 PM for 14h 22m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.91% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1920, in the Treaty of Moscow, Soviet Russia recognizes the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia only to invade the country six months later.

By Jua Cha – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

  Emilie Burditt writes Wisconsin’s rail trails: Connecting communities with the outdoors (‘A brief history of Wisconsin’s railroads and trails built on old railroad paths’): 

“(Rail trails) make the perfect base for a walking and biking trail,” said Eric Oberg, the Midwest Regional Director of the national nonprofit Rails to Trail.

Wisconsin has more than 100 of these trails, and the very first rail trail in the United States was created in Wisconsin. The beginning of a collection of rail trails that now span almost 2,000 miles across Wisconsin began with the Elroy-Sparta State Trail, which is considered the first rail trail.


But it wasn’t the easiest railroad to convert. Oberg said the tunnels in the Elroy-Sparta trail were hard to work with during construction, even if they are half the fun. He said despite the challenges the trail’s bridges and tunnels created, they’re an unbelievable and beautiful part of what he says may be the best rail trail. 

After the Elroy-Sparta trail was created in 1965, the idea to get people outside using such a system really stuck.

In fact, that’s what [reader Phil] Kaznowski was doing when he reached out to WHYsconsin. A few months after moving to Wisconsin, he began to really enjoy his outside adventures biking on the rail trails, and he couldn’t help but want to know more.

On the trails, he sees people of all ages walking, biking and running, and he sees people using wheelchairs. The often wider paths make it, so families can walk together alongside bicyclists.

And that’s the whole point, Oberg said: Rail trails are meant to conserve history, nature and bring people closer to the outdoors and their community.

“Every facet of your community is out using that trail,” Oberg said. “And unlike in your car when you pass people, if you pass people on a trail, it is a personal experience. At the very least you smile at each other. More often than not you say, ‘Hello,’ maybe you stopped to have a conversation. It’s the place where community happens now.”

Biking the Elroy-Sparta Trail:

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