ROTC Students from UWL, Winona State volunteer to replace old bridge in community forest
Outdoor Recreation Alliance (ORA) Trails teamed up with ROTC volunteers from UW-La Crosse and Winona State University to replace an aging bridge on Oak Trail in La Crosse’s Hixon Forest Friday, Oct. 25.
Increased amounts of rain running off of Bliss Road over the course of several years has created deeper ravines and the need for bigger and better bridges in Hixon Forest. The old bridge had to be moved twice due to erosion and was at risk of falling into the ravine again. The new bridge is twice the length of the old one.
ORA Trails led the bridge replacement effort after receiving a community bridge building award from La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat. La Crosse Park and Rec provided the raw materials for the bridge.
The ROTC students are part of ORA Trails massive all-volunteer effort that has transformed lower and upper Hixon Forest into a premier Midwest destination for hiking and biking. This is part of ORA’s effort to get more families in the woods enjoying an improved quality of life.
The ROTC students use the trail system for part of their training for the Northern Warfare Challenge every February.
ORA Trails is working with area municipalities and 285 trail building volunteers to build 50 miles of shared-use trails in the next five years. ORA Trails and the City of La Crosse Park and Rec department have collaborated on multiple projects the past several years, including new bike optimized trails and pump track in Upper Hixon, the Community Forest Trails near State Road School, and the redesign of Lueth Park into a state of the art pump track and skate board park at West Avenue and La Crosse Street.