Flooding keeps many La Crosse trails closed


With the temperatures expected to be in the 70s and sunny in the Coulee Region this weekend, it is a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and spring.

But unfortunately those looking to use some city of La Crosse trails will have to wait a bit longer.

Back on March 14, the city temporarily closed all three of their summer trails because of weather conditions.

Since then, Mother Nature has not been cooperating that much with only one of the three trails being able to open.

“There’s a reason we close the trails, it’s not to keep you clean and so you don’t get muddy. We close the trails because during the sensitive time they are subject to a lot of damage. So any bike riding or any walking, hiking on the trails when they’re in kind of a muddy state, it deteriorates the trail,” said City of La Crosse Recreation Coordinator Leah Burns.

The Lower Hixon Trail opened back up just a couple of weeks ago, but both the Upper Hixon Trail and River Marsh Trail remain closed.

“Visually they might look great. But what happens when we have really high water is that sometimes the La Crosse River will undercut some of our trails. So on the surface, they’ll look great but underneath we could be experiencing some washouts or erosion problems. So we want to really avoid any kind of cave-ins and make sure that we fill any sinkholes that we have,” said Burns.

Thursday, the Parks and Recreation Department announced they are cancelling the ‘Tails for Trails’ event that was scheduled for April 27 along the Marsh Trail.

Burns says the event was supposed to be a kick-off to the spring/summer trail season.

“We’re kind of at the will of Mother Nature here and like I said, we’re not only affected by the rain that we get, the snow that’s coming down from up north. So there’s a lot of factors that go into this,” she said.

Park officials want to remind people if trails are closed and barricades are up, to stay out to prevent more damage from happening.

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