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NRB Starts Review On Granite Peak Ski Area Expansion

Hiking Trail Users Skeptical Of The Project

Wisconsin DNR (CC-BY-ND)

The state’s Natural Resources Board is beginning a review of the Rib Mountain State Park master plan as it decides whether to expand the Granite Peak Ski Area. Members of a park advocacy group are expressing concerns about existing hiking trails.

The $50 million ski hill expansion includes plans for new hiking trails, according to Granite Peak President Charles Skinner.

“We’re proposing to add an additional 10 acres of hiking trails that can also be used for snowshoeing or cross-country in the winter, so overall we’re increasing the amount of hiking trails by 50 percent,” Skinner said.

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But Steve Engler, a former president and current member of Friends of Rib Mountain, worries that the plan will harm the existing trail system.

“I think the trails that are in there have some historic value. They go past some nice, scenic areas. There’s some old homesteads from some of the original settlers on the side of the hill. And I just think it’s a great hike as it is right now,” said Engler.

The Natural Resources Board review will involve public hearings, and take months to complete.