In 2011, Coon Prairie Trail, a 5 mile paved multi-use path, and Wayside County Park opened as part of a four-lane highway expansion project between the communities of Viroqua and Westby, Wisconsin. The path is 10’ wide and paved with asphalt. The path connects the communities of Viroqua and Westby, and at the same time provides a place for residents and visitors to recreate and exercise. The path also provides transportation choices for people who commute between Vernon County’s two largest communities.
Acceptable path uses include hiking, biking, in-line skating, jogging, and cross-country skiing . Wheelchairs, including electric wheelchairs will also be allowed on the path. Other than electric wheelchairs, motorized vehicles of any kind are not allowed on the path. Equestrian use, including horseback riding and horse carriage vehicles are also not allowed on the path. On any given day, you will see many people using the trail for walking, biking, jogging, and roller blading. The trail has proven already to be a great community asset.
The project was a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Vernon County, the City of Viroqua, the City of Westby, Vernon Trails (private not-for-profit trails group), and the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission. In addition, much needed funding support was granted by Vernon Memorial Healthcare, the Coulee Region Organic Producers Pool (CROPP), Quality of Life Chiropractic Clinic of Viroqua, Vernon Trails and many other very generous people and organizations. The project could not have become a reality without these very generous levels of financial and community support.