Exciting Changes Approved for Rib Mountain State Park

Rib Mountain State Park (RMSP) and Granite Peak Ski Area are popular destinations for outdoor recreation. They’re also important components of an opportunity to leverage the Greater Wausau Region's natural assets to propel economic development and add to the growing reputation as a premier outdoor recreation mecca.

The Wisconsin DNR has completed development of the final version of the Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan, which includes expanded recreational opportunities at the park, with the intent of ensuring the park continues to be an integral, year-round, component of the quality of life for Wausau area residents and guests.

Of interest to many people is the future of downhill skiing at Rib Mountain. With the NRB amendment, the plan includes an increase in the area that can be leased for the downhill ski operation from 412 acres to 532 acres.

Another important change is the planned development of different types of bicycling trails – a multi-purpose trail encircling the mountain and mountain biking opportunities that include both flow trails and gravity, single-track trails. The flow trails and gravity single-track trails will both be designed to accommodate a range of skill levels. 

In addition, a new nature center, a small campground, increased opportunities for climbing and bouldering, additional hiking and snowshoeing trails, and upgrades and expansions to the facilities at the top of the mountain to provide improved experiences for a variety of special events are also planned.

Trail Plan Refinement and Design for Rib Mountain

The Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership, Ltd., in conjunction with the Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling Coalition (CWOCC) has contracted with IMBA Trail Solutions (TS) on a Trail Refinement and Phased Design plan for up to 10-12 miles of trail corridor for Rib Mountain State Park. The project will kick-off in late November of 2023.

IMBA Trail Solutions (TS) is the international leader in developing singletrack trails, with experience in over 750 projects in North America, Europe, and Asia. TS proposes a collaborative process of planning and design. CWOCC, DNR Staff, and appropriate stakeholders, will be engaged and informed throughout the process from initial concept review to the final Trails Concept Plan and Phase 1 design.

Learn more about the Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling Coalition (CWOCC) and their efforts to Build a Better Mountain Biking Community in Central Wisconsin.


Desire to Become an International Mountain Bike Association Ride Center™

A Ride Center designation recognizes large-scale mountain bike facilities
that offer a wide range of experiences and demonstrate the best practices in mountain bike trail design and construction. The evaluation criteria to become a Ride Center (there are three levels – gold, silver and
bronze) are comprised of key aspects of high-quality mountain bike destinations and include, but not are limited to, trail experiences, services, community involvement, tourism and promotion. Typically, Ride Centers move up in rating over time as additional opportunities and attributes are added and support facilities are further developed. To date, only six places in the U.S. have been awarded a Gold Level Ride Center designation. The Wausau region supports many existing mountain biking trails and associated services that are needed to qualify for designation as a Ride Center. A missing component of achieving a high-level designation is the lack of a lift- or shuttle-served mountain biking opportunity. If bike-specific, gravity-oriented trails are developed at RMSP, utilizing a ski lift or shuttle service on a regular schedule to transport bikers to the top of the mountain would provide a distinctive experience and bolster Wausau’s application to be a high-level Ride Center.

Latest News & Developments

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  • Comprehensive Master Plan revision approved for Rib Mountain State Park

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