Wild Goose State Trail

Summer may not officially start until June 21st, but with a few days of nice weather in the forecast it's time to start thinking about outdoor activities. Fond du Lac is fortunate to have a selection of biking and walking trails within just a few miles of downtown.  The Mascoutin Valley Trail runs from the northwest corner of Fond du Lac to Rosendale; the Prairie Trail follows the Highway 151 bypass; the Eisenbahn State Trail extends from Eden to West Bend and the Wild Goose State Trail runs from Rolling Meadows Drive to Highway 60 in Dodge County.

In the 1800's Fond du Lac saw its economy and population grow with the construction of the Rock River Valley Union Railroad, which became the Chicago, St. Paul, and Fond du Lac Railroad and then finally the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. A 34-mile section of the Chicago and Northwestern line extending south from Fond du Lac has long since been abandoned and now repurposed as the Wild Goose State Trail. Abandoned railways make for very accessible walking and biking trails due to the limited inclines necessary for train travel. In addition, there are very few street crossings and all rivers along the path have well established bridges.

The Wild Goose State Trail is best known for the segment that passes the Horicon Marsh where wildlife and vegetation are abundant, but even the Fond du Lac County portion of the trail is surrounded by a diverse collection of wild flowers and birds. The trail crosses the east branch of the Fond du Lac River just one and a half miles south of the Rolling Meadows Drive entrance, offering a chance to see even more wildlife. The majority of the trail is flanked by trees providing shade in the morning and mid-afternoon.

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