On Saturday, September 25th, Vernon Trails hosted their 5th annual Sidiefest at Sidie Hollow County Park. Over 50 volunteers arrived ready to do various trail work tasks in the morning and worked until mid-afternoon. Over 250 hours of volunteer work was logged and trail maintenance tasks included raking, brush cutting, invasive species eradication, and bench cutting.
The event, which always falls on National Public Lands Day has logged over 1000 volunteer hours, seen 300+ volunteers, and produced 9 miles of wonderful “shared-use” trails for all park visitors to enjoy. Over the past four years Vernon Trails has been working closely with Vernon County Parks to create a trail network that has become an invaluable resource for the community and a considerable draw to silent sports enthusiasts from a much broader regional scope.
After the work day concluded, volunteers were invited to stay for a barbeque, a door prize raffle, and entertainment from four local bands. Over 150 people attended the event to “play in the park” for the day. Several attendees stayed to camp for the night and have a big pancake breakfast on Sunday. Guided trail tours were given by bike and foot after breakfast and the new sections of trail were “stomped down”.
Vernon Trails would like to thank the many, many volunteers who showed up to work in the woods, the great bands that entertained us, The Cakery, The Viroqua Food Co-op, Organic Valley and Central Waters for the food and drink, Dairyland Printing, Bluedog Cycles, Mt Borah for their continued support, door prize schwag, and the use of their cool shuttle van, Human Powered Trails (of La Crosse) for the use of their trail tools, and the tireless friends who help out all year long with the random volunteer efforts.
Trail work will continue well into the fall at Sidie Hollow as well as on the 150 acres of private land that Vernon Trails is building upon. The long term vision is to connect the Sidie Hollow trail network all the way back to the town of Viroqua. Please contact Vernon Trails for more information on how to become a volunteer or to make your tax deductible donation to the non-profit group so we can continue to create this silent sports paradise.