public use & trails
The Marathon County Solid Waste Department is lucky enough to call home to over 575 acres of beautiful, diverse land in Central Wisconsin. The Department has worked hard over the year to make the site available for public use and to share the many wonders of the land. Below are some of the trail systems that go through the property.
Mountain Bay Trail
Traveling the Mountain – Bay State Trail in autumn is a trip for the eyes as the season changes. The Trail offers intimate views of the environment as it crosses the eastern half of Marathon County and into Shawano County in Wisconsin. Through the forests and tamarack swamps that the trail passes, as the season changes, so do the colors of the landscape.
Take a ride, get out, and enjoy the trail as it takes you from village to village away from the busy highways. The cool weather will comfort you. The sites, and the sounds of nature on the trail will excite you.
ice age trail
More than 12,000 years ago, an immense flow of glacial ice sculpted a landscape of remarkable beauty across Wisconsin. As the glacier retreated, it left behind a variety of unique landscape features. These glacial remnants are now considered among the world’s finest examples of how continental glaciation sculpts our planet.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,000 mile footpath that highlights landscape features as it travels through some of the state’s most beautiful natural areas. The Trail is entirely within Wisconsin and is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails.
The Ice Age Trail is more than a path through the woods. It is a place for mental and physical rejuvenation, a place to unwind after a hard day and enjoy the landscape of Wisconsin. More than 1 million people use the Ice Age Trail each year to hike and snowshoe, to backpack, to disconnect and reconnect.
Behind the scenes, a vibrant community of volunteers across the state work to build and maintain the Trail, making it one of the country’s best hiking experiences.
Bluebird Nest Box Trail
Bluebird Nest Box Trail is an excellent place to view and enjoy the sky blue color of Eastern Bluebirds. The birds usually arrive at the end of February, and leave in flocks beginning in mid-September.
The Friends of Donald Park have an active Bluebird Group of volunteers, which have constructed 26 bluebird nesting boxes in the park. They monitor the boxes weekly throughout the spring and summer.
In 2009, 98 bluebirds fledged, an average of four babies per box. This was the highest average in Dane County and resulted in a “Trail of Excellence” rating from the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin.
Nine-Mile is the crown jewel of our county forest system at just over 4,900 acres. Nine Mile is intensively managed for multiple uses including sustainable timber harvests, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing to name a few.
It is located just southwest of Wausau with access off of Co. Hwy. KK, Springbrook Road, Hollywood Road and Red Bud Road, which transects the forest unit. There is a large formal parking area and Chalet building at the north portion of this unit, on Red Bud Road. The main trailhead starts here for a variety of uses.
The terrain of this unit ranges from low, flat ground to fairly steep terrain, providing a true diverse experience. There are also two designated trout streams running through the forest, Four Mile Creek and Black Creek.