Eisenbahn State Trail

Washington County Segment - Eisenbahn State Trail History

  • 1871 - constructed by the Chicago & North Western Co.
  • 1988 - purchased by Fox Valley & Western Ltd.
  • 1999 - FVW filed for abandonment from Rusco to Eden
  • Currently - rail corridor is owned by the State of Wisconsin under a federal program which "banks" or preserves the corridor for
  • potential future rail use, but allows the corridor to be developed for recreation uses at this time.
  • Eisenbahn is German for iron road, harkening back to this rail line's heritage
  • Official opening of the 12.4 mile Washington County segment of the Eisehbahn State Trail on April 28,2006

In 2004, the Department of Natural Resources entered into an agreement with Washington County to develop and maintain approximately 12 miles of the 24 miles of abandoned rail corridor on the former C & NW Rail Road right-of-way that extends from the City of West Bend, Washington County to Eden in Fond du Lac County. The Washington County trail segment extends from Rusco Road south of the City of West Bend north to the Washington/Fond du Lac County line.

Eisenbahn State Trail Experience

The former railroad grade is level and an easy ride for bikers of all levels of experience. The trail passes through farmland, industrial and residential areas, and near scenic waterways affording a variety of experiences.

Approximately 5 miles of trail within the City of West Bend have been paved; the remainder of the Washington County segment is surfaced with limestone screenings.

Hikers enjoying a rest and scenic overlook along Barton Pond

Bikers on section of trail along Highway 45 in the Town of Barton

Bicyclists on trail segment in City of West Bend

(L to R) Trail through Village of Kewaskum
Taking the family for a stroll along a rural section of trail near Lighthouse Lane

Eisenbahn State Trail Allowed Uses and Access

Bicycling, hiking, dog walking on a leash and other non-motorized uses are allowed in summer. Easy access to the trail is available along intersecting streets and newly constructed connections between existing trails and sidewalks within the City of West Bend. Parking is allowed along City side streets and in parking lots located south of Water Street and in the soon to be constructed parking lot near the depot between Water Street and Washington Street.

There is available parking between Highway 28 and Second Street within the Village of Kewaskum next to the trail. The trail also runs adjacent to River Hills Park within the Village. Check the snowmobile club maps for availability of parking for snowmobiles; no snowmobile trailer parking is allowed in Village parking lots adjacent to the trail.

Young bicyclists on bridge adjoining River Hills Park within the Village of Kewaskum

The section of trail north of Lighthouse Lane to the Fond du Lac County line is open to snowmobiles only during the winter when conditions permit. The section south of Lighthouse Lane is open in winter for cross country skiing, hiking and snow shoeing as long as conditions permit. Trail rules are posted. There is no admission charge for use of the trail.

The trail continues north of Washington County into Fond du Lac County comprising an approximately 24 mile trail between Eden on the north end through West Bend on the south end.

Eisenbahn State Trail Etiquette

General Etiquette for all Trail Users

  1. Treat all trail users with respect and courtesy regardless of their sport, speed or skill level.
  2. Protect our environment; stay on the trail. Do not use shortcuts.
  3. Stay to the right and pass on the left. Always look before changing positions on the trail.
  4. Share the trail; watch and listen for others.
  5. Carry out all litter; including your pet's waste.
  6. Respect private property and the privacy of people living along the trail.
  7. Pets must be kept on leashes less than six feet in length and under control.
  8. Leave vegetation for others to enjoy. Do not cut or damage live trees or vegetation.
  9. Travel at a safe and controlled speed.
  10. Only cross at marked crossings.

Etiquette for Bicyclists

  1. Ride single file. Ride two or more abreast only if you will not block other traffic.
  2. Control your speed. Trails are not appropriate places for high speed riding.
  3. Obey traffic signs and signals
  4. When passing, go slow and give an audible signal.
  5. At night, use headlight, taillight and reflectors.

Etiquette for Snowmobiles

1. Ride quietly when around houses, campgrounds and other non-riders. Keep the rpm's low and steady.
2. Do not exceed 10 mph when traveling within 100' of a non-motorized user or 150' of a dwelling.
3. Do not operate vehicle in a careless way that may endanger people or property.
4. Stay on trail and stay away from areas posted closed.

Click here for a magnified view of the Eisenbahn State Trail in Washington County.

Click here for information on where the trail connects to West Bend City parks

Please continue to watch our website for updated information on the Eisenbahn State Trail, as more information is forthcoming soon.

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