Most Important Achievements of 2014

With a chill in the air and spring a bit in the future, we take this time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. We are extremely grateful for the on-going support of our Friends Members and for all those that have made these achievements possible.

#1: Ramp/Stairway Connection to the Sixth Street Viaduct

The biggest achievement of 2014 is the completion of the ramp and stairway at the Sixth Street Viaduct. This is a DNR project that is more than ten years in the making. Supported by a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, a number of land-related issues stalled the project for many years until the Redevelopment Authority for the city of Milwaukee’s move to create a space for water related businesses on the adjacent properties. With the DOT’s help, the project was completed this year and finally provides that safe transition to and from the viaduct.

#2: Annual Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk

FOHAST’s biggest fund raiser, the annual Run/Walk is also loads of FUN. The weather was perfect. We had 1591 participants, loads of volunteers, prizes galore, and a terrific band that entertained all. Proceeds from this event fund Kids Bike Adventure Camps, enhancements, and all other programs.

For additional details visit the Annual Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk page!

#2A: Run/Walk Supports Bike Adventure Camps

In 2014, 125 youth from schools and organizations in neighborhoods near the Trail participated in a total of five summer Bike Adventure Camps. The purpose of the two week camps is to educate young people in safe biking habits and to encourage exploration of the Trail for recreation and improved health. A new nutrition component was added this year, and youth learned about healthy eating in tandem with the benefits of exercise. FOHAST offers a special thank you to Waterstone Bank, Nancy Sellars Memorial Foundation and Walmart Neighborhood Market on Main St. for their generous sponsorship of this year’s bike camps.

For more information, check out the link to the Bike Adventure Camps page.

#2B: Funds Provide More Enhancements to the Trail

One of the greatest successes of FOHAST has been the rehabilitation of three historical street car shelters originally constructed by city of Milwaukee employees in 1929. This year the third structure was installed at the Trail’s west end at 123rd and Bluemound Road. The shelters provide an escape from the weather and double as information stations with their kiosks and map holders. This year lettering was added to all three to let everyone know they are on the Hank Aaron State Trail.

#3: "Walk the Hank" Events

The CHANGE Coalition, working with FOHAST to encourage a greater level of physical activity and better nutrition, developed walking events to get people active and out on the Trail. Advertised in the MPS Recreation Guide, the tours guided by Trail Manager Melissa Cook attracted about 70 people, many of them first time visitors to the Trail. Featured sites were the new Three Bridges Park, Valley Passage, and the Soldiers Home section of the Trail. Watch for more "Walk the Hank" events next year and let us know if you have any favorite segments you would like for us to feature.

#4: Facebook & Tweets

This year FOHAST gave additional effort to getting information out via social media. We gained a good number of new "Friends" on Facebook, many who greatly appreciated the updates on trail detours and temporary closures. This is the best way we know of to let folks know about last minute changes and some not so last minute events. We’ll continue to do this, as there are a few more temporary closures expected, but we will also share with you a few pics of nice sunrises and fuzzy babies along the Trail. Please "Friend" us so you too can be in the loop!

FOHAST Facebook Page

15th Annual Run/Walk a Great Success!

Thanks to all who participated in this year's Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk!

Whether you were one of the 1600 runners or walkers, helped to form a team, were a volunteer, or a major sponsor, your support for this event is greatly appreciated. Funds raised help to fuel our youth bike adventure camps and projects throughout the year.

Special thanks to our 2014 Run/Walk:
Sponsors, Donors & Teams!

Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail

Hank Aaron State Trail maps are available! Download the map here.

The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, developing, and maintaining the Hank Aaron State Trail. The creation of the Hank Aaron State Trail along the Menomonee River and through a former industrial valley contributes countless opportunities for recreation and fitness, improvements to the environment, economic growth, and overall quality of urban life.

The Trail is ideal for bicyclists, walkers, runners, and skaters, and currently provides a 12-mile continuous connection via dedicated trails and marked streets between the lakefront and Milwaukee's west end.  The Trail starts at Lakeshore State Park near the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds, winds its way through the Historic Third Ward and Menomonee River Valley, past Miller Park, and then points west by accessing the new bridge at 37th St. The Trail links to Milwaukee County's 100-mile Oak Leaf Trail at both its east and west end, making it possible to bike from Lake Michigan, along several trails across the state, and eventually link to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Glacial Drumlin State Trail, and Military Ridge State Trail.

The Western extension features a new bike/pedestrian bridge over Hawley Road, redecked bridges, and asphalt pavement. When work is completed on the Zoo Interchange, the remaining off-road section of the Trail west of 94th Place will be completed and paved out to Underwood Creek and the connection to the Oak Leaf Trail. (Please note that a detour route exists for the section west of 94th Place.)

A new one-mile extension of the Trail opened in the new Three Bridges Park in the summer of 2013. This segment offers undulating terrain, great views of Milwaukee's downtown, and access to the Menomonee River. Entry points to the Trail are at the three bridges located at the Valley Passage at 37th and Canal Street, 33rd Court located just east of Palermo's Pizza, and behind the Mitchell Park Domes.

Some points of interest along and adjacent to the Trail include Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, Milwaukee Art Museum, Lakeshore State Park, Summerfest & Ethnic Festivals, Historic Third Ward, Historic Walkers Point, Harley-Davidson Museum, Potawatomi Casino, Marquette Playing Fields, Mitchell Park Domes, Miller Park, Menomonee Valley Urban Ecology Center, Soldiers Home Historic District, State Fair Park, Petit Ice Center, and the restorative peace of the Menomonee River.

The Hank Aaron State Trail Will Take You There!

The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail continues to be an advocate of the Trail, working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, local communities, organizations, and businesses, to bring the Trail to reality. From our annual Spring River Clean-Up and Planting, to the Hank Aaron State Trail 5k Run/Walk, to our hikes through history, the Friends helps people enjoy and appreciate all that the Hank Aaron State Trail has to offer.

We invite you to learn more about the Trail and our organization, and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Hank Aaron State Trail.

Become a Friend of the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail

Joining the Friends offers an opportunity to play an important role in bringing the Trail to its full potential. It provides a great forum for discussion and support of the Trail, and friends also receive newsletters and advance notification of special events. In addition, the Friends offer Bike Safety Camps to kids in the adjacent neighborhoods, pay for printing of HAST maps, and restore and install the classic copper shelters as rest and "information stations" along the trail.