Lower Yahara Trail

The Lower Yahara Trail under construction along Lake Waubesa.

After years of planning and construction, Dane County is cutting the ribbon Sunday on what could be the most scenic bike ride in the state.

The Lower Yahara River Trail officially opens at 3 p.m., according to county parks planner Chris James.

The $9 million, 2.5-mile trail, including a system of bridges and boardwalks across Lake Waubesa, will link McDaniel Park in McFarland with Lake Farm County Park near the Capital City Bike Trail, offering a direct route from McFarland to Madison.

Plans are to extend the trail south to Stoughton in coming years.

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The trail will provide a breathtaking view of Lake Waubesa on what’s billed as the longest bike bridge in the state.

County staffers had been providing periodic previews with drone footage.

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Yahara trail future phases

The Lower Yahara River Trail (in pink) would connect the Capital City Trail with McFarland, paving the way for future extensions (in blue) all the way to Stoughton.

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Steven Elbow joined The Capital Times in 1999 and has covered law enforcement in addition to city, county and state government. He has also worked for the Portage Daily Register and has written for the Isthmus weekly newspaper in Madison.