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The description of the Green Circle Trail on the official site makes a unique boast: “All urban residents are within 10 minutes of the trail system, and yet, more than 80% of the Green Circle travels through secluded parks and natural areas.” This is the great appeal of this trail system: the fact that it offers trail users an escape from the hectic everyday urban experience while staying close to the city. The various trail segments are popular for biking and hiking among locals and visitors alike.
The Green Circle is the culmination of nearly three decades of mainly community-led efforts to create a comprehensive greenway system to crown Stevens Point. It’s the ideal medium to explore the history, culture and nature of the area. The 27-mile loop is made up of a dozen segments that weave through varied settings, from urban neighborhoods to out-of-the-way natural areas. In June 2022, a new section of the trail was built past the airport fence, along with direction signs to mark the route. On top of the primary loop, the Circle also provides access to a further 45 miles of regional trails, including the Tomorrow River State Trail.
Winding along the Wisconsin and Plover rivers, the Circle is the best way to get out and get in touch with nature. While on the trail, travelers will pass through forests, wetlands with boardwalks, prairie and experience stunning river views and postcard-perfect sunsets. Wildlife is plentiful, and there are good spots for birdwatching and nature photography.
The trail is about more than just transportation and recreation however. It is also cultural asset, recalling the history of the pioneer settlements and lumber-making that so long defined this area. Historic homes, old mills and rustic ruins harken to the town’s storied past along the greenway.
Whatever your reason for going outside, the Green Circle has it all.
Free parking, restrooms and other amenities are available at the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center, the headquarters of the Green Circle. It is located at 2419 North Point Dr, Stevens Point (the entrance is on North Point near I-39). The trail begins here, stretching just under a mile and a half through the reserve.
Parking is also available at the many parks and green spaces connected by the trail.
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