First Lady Tonette Walker

Walkers enjoy one of area’s best trails with First Lady Walker

By: Candice White, The Chippewa Herald
Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Lady Tonette Walker, in red, walks with a crowd of area citizens at the Old Abe Trail on Friday morning in Chippewa Falls. Walker visits various scenic areas in Wisconsin and then blogs about the experiences at

Eighteen eager walkers joined Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker out on the Old Abe Trail for a two-mile walk Friday morning.

Despite the chilly and windy weather - and me forgetting my gloves - it was a decent enough day for a walk.

They should have scheduled it earlier in the week, when the weather was nicer, I mentioned to Mike Dahlby, the County Forest Administrator and Public Liaison for Chippewa County.

"Every day is a nice day when you get to be outside," he said.

I had to agree. It’s true. Chippewa County is blessed to have such versatile outdoor spaces.

Take the Old Abe Trail, for example.

"This is an excellent, multi-use trail," Dahlby said. "Being this close to a great trail is about quality of life. We think it attracts very productive people to the area."

So far this year, 1,900 trail passes have been sold to people from 11 different states. Trail passes are required to ride bicycle on the trail.

Dahlby also noted that alongside the Old Abe Trail is a horseback riding trail, which, in winter, becomes a snowmobile trail.

As part of Walk with Walker, the first lady visits recreation trails and parks across the state to promote tourism and health and fitness, and then blogging about each area. (Read Walker’s blog at

"I’m pleased to see so many faces out here eager to enjoy Chippewa County’s natural resources with me today," Walker said.

Elly and Vern Krupa came out to walk on Friday.

"We’re into fitness and thought this would be wonderful," Elly said.

Marilyn Kademan, who lives in the Lake Hallie area, is an avid biker of the trail but decided to come out and walk it on Friday.

"Anybody who will go with me, I take biking,” she said. "I’ve got a granddaughter who loves to ride.”

Last weekend she rode to Cornell and camped at Brunet Island State Park, to which the Old Abe connects. The only thing she would like to see is for the trail gap to be filled from the Lake Hallie area to the city of Chippewa Falls.

"Then, you could ride all the way from Cornell to Menomonie (on the Red Cedar Trail)," she said.

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