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Parcour trail equipment provides exercise challenge

Irv Sather is trying to get more people to use the three "Parcour Trail" sites around Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond and Bosch. The exercise challenge equipment was installed as part of the Paperjack Greenway project.1 / 2
One of the three stations.2 / 2

With all the talk about improved health and wellness in New Richmond, Irv Sather wanted to remind area residents of a little-used exercise resource that few people know about.

Some years ago, three "Parcour Trail" courses were installed adjacent to New Richmond's campus of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. The courses were part of the ongoing Paperjack Greenway project that included trails, benches, signage and plantings.

"We thought, with WITC being right there, that the students would be using it," Sather said. "There's not a lot of students using it."

The three courses include eight challenges each. The various physical challenges are each featured on a metal sign, with appropriate instructions about how to complete each station.

Each of the three courses is different from the others. Challenges include chin-ups, sit-ups, vault bar, ring ladder, horizontal ladder, log hop, balance bar and more.

The self-guided fitness program is designed to challenge everyone - both young and old alike, Sather said.

"It's a shame that people aren't using it," Sather said. "We'd like to see more people take advantage of it and use it."

Sather spent some time cleaning up and weeding the courses so they are ready for use.

People interested in trying out the challenges are welcome to park at the trailhead of the WITC Trail (on the northeast side of the WITC parking lot) or in the driveway entrance immediately after Bosch's Knowles Avenue facility (on the west side of the road).

Another way to access the courses is to turn east off Rail Bridge Trail onto the WITC trail. A bridge over Paperjack Creek and a boardwalk connects the three different stations.

"People don't understand what the parcourses are for," Sather said. "They are one of New Richmond's best kept secrets."

The Paperjack Greenway is an 11-acre site of walking trails built along Paperjack Creek (north of the New Richmond Heritage Center) and an additional six-acre exercise trail built north of WITC.

As the site for the Greenway ran on both the east and the west sides of busy Highway 65, the trail and park project was a joint venture of the Heritage Center and WITC.

The New Richmond Outdoor Recreation Plan, prepared in 1984, first mentions the expansion of Paperjack Park (located at the entrance of the Southview Addition) to include what would become Paperjack Greenway. Developers Victor and Bernice Doman donated the land that allowed for the Greenway.

The creek bottom had been a cow pasture for the Tierney Farm, which had been a farmstead since 1910 but later became a housing development and the Heritage Center.

By 1990 the landscaping plan for the Greenway was approved and development of a single, multi-purpose park began. A matching grant of $57,682 was awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Doughboy Packaging and the New Richmond Community Foundation provided $15,000 in matching funds, and other donations from businesses, organizations and individuals were secured.

The Wisconsin Conservation Corps granted the use of a crew for one year to help do the actual installation work of the Greenway.

The park plans called for two major foot bridges, a reconstructed springhouse, stairs, signage, benches, planting of shrubs and trees and installation of the exercise stations.