County proposes Oak Leaf Trail expansion to connect with sports complex

Posted at 6:46 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 20:08:14-04

Bikers could be seeing new attractions along one of the most popular trails in Milwaukee County.

The Milwaukee County Parks department is proposing an extension to connect the Oak Leaf Trail to a sports complex in Franklin.

If the proposal passes, it would encourage more people to use the trail. Bikers would be able to loop through the woods to Rock Sports Complex, filled with fun family activities.

For Todd Daniel, the secluded path off Root River Parkway serves as a getaway.

"Meditate a little bit and you look forward to it."

The 118-mile Oak Leaf Trail brings out people of all ages.

"We've seen at least a hundred today if not more, walking dogs, running, biking," said Nada Potkonjak.

The Potkonjak's enjoy the nature along the ride.

"The deer, the wild turkeys, the serenity, it's just nice," she said.

But with an upgraded sports complex just miles away, the county is proposing an expansion to the trail to connect runners and bikers with more attractions.

"Anything that gives people a reason to come out and get some exercise and some fresh air is a good reason," said Potkonjak.

The trail extension would take riders along S. Root River Parkway over a bridge up through the Rock Sports Complex on a ten-foot wide path.

It’s an upgraded venue, with baseball fields next to a ski hill, along with a patio bar up top.

"They have live bands up there I think every weekend, and it's a fun place to be, we've been up there before and it would be a great place to ride our bikes instead," said Potkonjak.

The half-mile loop would continue to connect back to the original trail down Old Loomis Road.

"It's a well-used trail,” added Potkonjak. “It's going to appeal to people who live anywhere in the area."

If passed, the project would be completed next fall. 

TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to the county for specifics on how much the extension would cost and who would pay for it, however, we have not heard back.

The parks department is holding a public meeting on the proposal next week. The open-house style meeting will be held Sept. 13 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Root River Parkway Picnic Shelter No. 2 on the west side of Root River Parkway about one mile south of Grange Avenue. Representatives will be available to answer questions.