DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Fox River Trail users won't have to take a break from the action again this winter.
That's because last winter turned out to be a confirmation on the popularity of the trail.
"It was a case of it you plow, they will come. The trail attendance nearly doubled last year during the winter months," says Brown County Parks Director Matt Kriese.
Cathy Schneider from De Pere witnessed the impact of the snow removal firsthand.
"You see a ton of people using it, whether it's bike riding, running, walking, and I think it's great for the community to keep everybody in good health," Schneider recalls from her time on the trail last winter.
Based on last winter's success, Brown County announced Friday it will again lead the way in keeping the trail plowed this winter, covering 6 miles from Porlier Street in Green Bay to Heritage Road in De Pere.
The county will pay the first 50-percent of the estimated snow removal cost, with Green Bay, Allouez and De Pere chipping in the remaining 50-percent if needed.
Last year's snow plowing bill was $7,000.
And to help promote trail use and raise funds for its maintenance, Bellin Health is purchasing two hundred $25 annual trail passes for its employees.
"We really would challenge companies all over the region, but especially the companies that are close to the trail, to do what we're doing and invest in the trail," says George Kerwin, Bellin Health President & CEO.
Opened in 2001, more than two million people have used the trail, and the push for a four seasons trail started years ago.
"Really this is proof positive that as individual community members our voices matter, and so this is an issue that bubbled up from the ground and we have leaders that were respectful and engaged and said, well when I hear people talking about this, when I see letters coming in, I'm going to pay attention to that," says Jen Van Den Elzen, Executive Director of Live54218.