The Green Circle Trail

Jul 14, 2022 | 40th Anniversary

The award-winning Green Circle Trail opened in June of 1996 and has been a substantial part of central Wisconsin ever since. The scenic 27-mile trail winds through nature preserves, parks, forest, wetlands, and along the shores of the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers within twelve different connected sections. In 1998 the Community Foundation partnered with the Green Circle Trail and created the Green Circle Endowment Fund, whose purpose is to educate the general public on the importance and value of providing balance and harmony between the natural environment and the recreational uses of the land by the general populace. The fund also assists in facilitating such education through the development and maintenance of the trail system through the Stevens Point, Plover, Hull, and Whiting communities. On average over 200,000 people use the trail annually.

The creation of the circle was only made possible by the cooperation among communities, corporations, private landowners, and individuals inspired to create something beautiful for our community. The idea for a trail linking through public land was originally conceived by John Jury, a former Commission Chair of Stevens Point Parks and Recreation. Other key members include Tom Schrader (past Stevens Point Parks and Recreation Director), Dan Trainer (past Dean of the College of Natural Resources at UWSP), George Rogers (environmentalist), Roy Menzel (a public relations professional), and Jerry Ernst (past director of county parks). The volunteer group named themselves “Passive Exercise Trail Committee” and the group was able to raise funds for the creation and placement of the trail and coordinate with generous private landowners for use of their properties when needed. The trail is a walk, run, or ride through numerous parks and green spaces, many of which have significant history to the roots of our community. 

The trail is maintained by the Portage County Parks and Recreation Department, Stevens Point Parks and Recreation Department, and Schmeeckle Reserve staff. Generous gifts from both individuals and businesses assist in the maintaining, constructing, and improving of the trail. To make a gift to the Green Circle Endowment Fund, visit our website 

To find more information about the Green Circle Trail and all its different sections, go to 

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