Dave Landgraf Hickory Ridge Trail Memorial Seedling Fund

"This is a special and unique trail. We wanted to ensure that users can count on it, in perpetuity."

Over 30 years ago, Dave Landgraf and his friends trekked across a series of old logging roads in search of the perfect cross-country ski excursion. There, in central Chippewa County, they found the perfect trail site. Its expansive views, varied with tucked-away forest areas, and several kettle lakes offered an ideal location to forge the Hickory Ridge Trail. 

Dave and a group of devoted cross-country skiers formed the nonprofit organization, Friends of Hickory Ridge Trail (FOHRT). They developed the terrain in concert with Chippewa County Forestry Department beginning in 1989. The FOHRT has been responsible for maintenance and operations ever since.

The trail quickly became a Midwest destination for year-round biking, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing enthusiasts. To keep up with demand, volunteer efforts reached nearly 450 hours in 2021, and grant applications for trail upkeep are continual. The FOHRT organization recently opened a seedling fund intended to keep youth engaged in skiing and biking programs.

Fondly named after its pioneer who died in 2011, The Dave Landgraf Hickory Ridge Trail Seeding Fund opened in February 2022.

"Dave Landgraf was my coach, mentor, and most importantly, my friend." reflects Randy Stearns, FOHRT member. "He gave opportunities for his students to learn lifelong outdoor skills by visiting Hickory Ridge. His former students still come back to Hickory Ridge," adds Randy.

"This is a special and unique trail. We wanted to ensure that users can count on it, in perpetuity," relays Craig Webb, FOHRT Board Member. The seedling fund, once endowed, will do that." includes Craig.

Randy reflects, "This is a place he loved and was devoted to."

Grants from this fund will support the Friends of Hickory Ridge Trail Inc.

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