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Remodeled hiking trails open in Hixon Forest



The pandemic has slowed down much activity in the La Crosse area over the past two years, but the city has still been able to make improvements in hiking trails through the bluffs. 

Remodeled trails in the Hixon Forest were re-opened with a brief ceremony on Friday. 

La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds attended the ribbon-cutting for the newly completed Miller Bluff and Bluff Pass trails, close to Highway 16.  The mayor noted the amount of activity in the bluff area, with trains going past, and golfers using the neighboring Forest Hills golf course.

“Our metropolitan area is almost embedded in this incredible forest,” said Reynolds, “and as the mayor, I think of this pragmatically, like, cool, this is how I bring people to the city.”

Work on the trails was done by Great Lakes Trailbuilders of La Crosse, and the hiking areas were designed by the local Outdoor Recreation Alliance (ORA).       

The director of the ORA, Jed Olson, says the bluff area has been transformed a lot in the 20-plus years since the city acquired the trail property.

“This area was added to the preserve that’s Hixon Forest so that it can be enjoyed by the community and preserve some of the very special spaces that are up here and along these areas,” said Olson.  

Planning for the Miller Bluff Trail and the Bluff Pass Trail which were dedicated Friday has been in the works for about a year.

About two dozen vehicles filled the limited parking lot at the trailhead for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Miller Bluff.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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