Newest county park celebrates

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CSI Media staff | May 15, 2015

Walworth County residents and visitors are lucky to have a variety of public spaces where they can enjoy outdoor activities.

The White River County Park, 6503 Sheridan Springs Road, is one of the newest — it was dedicated in July 2014. It is located near Wisconsin Highway 36 and Short Road in the town of Lyons. A Founder's Day Paddles and Picnic event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16. It's a free event.

The 195-acre park, located along the White River, has hiking trails, picnic areas and a canoe/kayak launch. The park will be available for hunting, fishing, trapping and cross-country skiing.

The park is free, although residents will need to get a permit for fishing, hunting or trapping on the land.

Kevin Brunner, Walworth County public works director, said the park is an ideal location for people to enjoy the river and participate in their favorite outdoor activities.

“The reason the county was interested in this property was the river. It's almost two miles of frontage near the river,” Brunner said.

The park features a pond, which includes several species of fish and turtles. A fishing pier is in the works, Brunner said.

“The pond is a really neat feature. It's an old quarry. I have not seen them, but there's supposed to be 100-year-old turtles in there,” Brunner said. “I think there's some bass and panfish in there.”

The park includes a barn, which could be developed into a nature center eventually.

A corn field near the park will be maintained by a local farmer but could be converted into a prairie area in the future.

There will be no cost for people to visit the park. It is owned and operated by the county and functions as a public park.

The county purchased the property from  Duane Clark in March 2014 for about $1.9 million. The county received a stewardship grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to pay for half of the cost.

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