Trail Sections — Westside Loop


  • Length:

    2.4 miles

  • Surface:

    Crushed granite trails and sidewalks

  • Activities:

    Hiking, jogging, biking, pets

  • Parking:

    Stevens Point Care Center on Sherman Ave. (south), downtown Stevens Point (north)

The Westside Loop is an alternative trail route that follows the west side of the Wisconsin River. The loop spans from the Highway 66 river crossing in the north (Riverfront Trail) to the County HH river crossing in the south (River Pines Trail).The northern portion of the trail offers excellent views of historic downtown Stevens Point and the NewPage paper mill and dam. The southern portion of the trail moves away from the Wisconsin River, meandering through young woodlands and crossing several large wetlands. A segment crosses the Point of Discovery School grounds. The County HH bridge in the south offers scenic views of rocky islands in the Wisconsin River.

Westside Loop

Features


West River Park

The southern end of this trail travels through West River Park, owned by the City of Stevens Point. This 76-acre natural area was once part of a farm owned by Robert McDonald, who imported Scottish Guernsey dairy cattle from England. The property was donated to the city by the Sroda, Wanta, and Galecke families in 2005 for park purposes.

Birding Information (Site #9)


The Westside Loop of the Green Circle includes visits to woodlands, riverside, and wetlands as it weaves its way along the Wisconsin River, circles through an adjacent wetlands area, and skirts urban areas. It is suggested that birders plan to spend 2-3 hours walking the 3.5 mile loop. Migrating loons, many duck species, and Tundra Swans highlight early spring and late fall. Summer sees a colony of over 600 nesting Cliff Swallows under the County HH bridge as the trail crosses the Wisconsin River. Birders find it hard to not to spend an hour watching these birds catch insects above the river and return to feed their young.

While walking the trail, it is not unusual to see eagles fishing, rafts of Goldeneye, Green-winged Teal, Coots, Bufflehead, and Mergansers plying the river. Belted Kingfishers, Pileated Woodpeckers, and orioles are also frequently spotted. Spring brings a host of warblers along the river as they migrate north. April/May is the best time to catch this wonderful migration. Summer displays of Cedar Waxwings feeding on emerging mayflies are a common sight. The wetlands section of the trail is home to all kinds of wetlands birds including Red-winged Blackbirds, Savannah Sparrows, Great Blue Herons, and Sandhill Cranes. Prepare for a few mosquitoes on warm, moist summer days.

Photo Gallery