Fundraising Campaign Update

When we launched our $500,000 Fundraising Campaign in May 2022, our goal was to deliver an even better trail experience for our visitors, no matter which seasons you visit.

We hope you felt that difference the last time you visited WinMan. 

Every dollar raised so far has been directly reinvested back into the trails and amenities to enhance your visit. After all, that was our promise to you when we kicked off the Campaign in May 2022 – to “Elevate Your WinMan Experience.” 

From new trails and improved grooming, to additional parking and relaxation areas, below is the very real impact of your donations over the last 15 months:

Summer Trails

  • Implementation of an innovative Hub design for improved navigation and customized riding experiences
    • New Front Hub: 10 trails merge creating 8 different trail options
    • New Rear Hub: 4 trails merge creating 3 different trail options
    • New Rear Hub Return, returning you to the Rear Hub to start a new adventure
    • New Front Hub Return, returning you to the Front Hub allowing you 8 options to keep your ride going or take you back to the chalet
  • Improved signage system wide
  • New Skills Park with 11 built-in-house steel and wooden features and 5 progressive jump lines to build your skills and have more Weeeeeee
  • Bridge Trail overhaul with 8 brand new wooden features 
  • Rerouted and improved the end of WinMan One and Roller Creek
  • Built Air Mail, one of our fastest and most challenging trails to date
  • Added a new half-mile (and super fun) loop to create “Long Scout” 
  • Enhancements made on many trails including our expert trails, High Five and Red Trail
  • New bridge feature on Red Trail now takes you safely over Twins (and provides a great view for our snowshoers, too)

Winter Trails

  • Improved signage system wide
  • New 1.6k Beginner Ski Loop
  • New Warm-Up trail completed and ready for the upcoming season
  • New and improved Sledding Hill
  • Introduced Nordic Rocks program offering FREE classic skis for kids to use while at WinMan
  • Enhanced frequency and quality of grooming with new equipment and additional staff
  • System-wide enhancements to the ski trails with brush clearing and leveling to improve ski quality
  • Nordic Pulse GPS for grooming updates in real time
  • New trail cam for a live look at trail conditions
  • Warming hut for small groups to enjoy a snack or warm fire while out on the trails
  • Additional 1 mile of fat tire bike trails
  • Created a new section on WinMan Passage snowshoe trail 
  • Added a new trail connecting WinMan Passage to Lake Loop
  • Expanded our backcountry cross-country ski trail system with almost 3k of flagged and cleared trail to enjoy


  • WinMan Park
    • Improved layout with direct entry from the parking lot and a more accessible kiosk
    • Developed spaces for families, groups and individuals to relax 
    • Installed custom shade sails, a hammock village, nature playspace, and rock wall seating area
    • Added outdoor seating and fire pits with gravel to cut down on the dust
    • Installed a sound and PA system for music and special events
    • Built new bike racks to securely hang your bikes when taking a break
    • New bike fix station and expanded tools for you to borrow
  • Chalet improvements
    • New and improved indoor seating
    • Added storage cubbies and coat hooks
    • Updated the Bar and Apparel Shop and expanded hours through the help of volunteers
    • Expanded our product offerings in the Shop
  • Parking Lot
    • Expanded to 100+ spots at the main trailhead
    • Installed vault toilets to reduce congestion in the chalet and make it more convenient to get you out on the trails

Financial Breakdown

We have made every effort to be transparent about how your donation dollars are invested. Below is a categorized breakdown of how we’ve used the funds raised so far (as of July 31):

WinMan Park – $28,451: Material costs, integrated sound system, additional seating and furniture 

Chalet Upgrades – $10,678: Furniture, new storage options, Bar and Apparel Shop improvements

New Trail Signage – $6,640

Tools – $6,018: Welding equipment and upgraded wood working equipment to allow us to keep all projects in-house

Trail Equipment – $13,671: Brush cutter and grapple to manage year round trail and property maintenance, fuel storage, steam power washer for equipment maintenance and improved invasive species management

Bridges, Features, Warming Hut and Other Material Costs – $21,608: All spent toward trail improvement projects, winter warming hut and the new Skills Park

Grooming Equipment – $52,000: New Soucy tracks 

Additional Winter Grooming Staff – $11,517: Added an additional part-time groomer to increase frequency and quality of grooming operations

Parking Lot – $17,385: Tree removal and extension of main parking 

Vault Toilet – $31,675: Reduces stress and congestion in the chalet and more convenient for users, significant cost savings compared with renovating the chalet and septic system

Total Raised to Date: $201,936

Total Spent: $199,643

Looking Ahead

You’ve already seen – hopefully in person! – what we’ve been able to accomplish with the first $200K raised. Imagine what’s possible with the next portion?!

To help spur us towards our next $100,000 milestone before year-end, Susie and Rick Gering have generously offered to contribute $5,000 for every 50 people who donate at least $20 to the Campaign between now and Labor Day Weekend.

100 donors unlocks $10,000
200 donors unlocks $20,000
500 donors unlocks $50,000

Will you make your best gift today?

Between you and me, there is no cap on what the Gerings have agreed to match between now and Labor Day Weekend. So just for fun, let’s say 1,000 WinMan friends and fans give at least $20 this month. That would be like multiplying your gift 6 times!

(1,000 people x $20 = $20,000; plus unlocking $100,000 from the Gerings = $120,000)

As a nonprofit trail system, every kind action helps us maintain and improve WinMan Trails, and we literally can’t do our work without your support. 

That’s why we are so grateful for each trailhead conversation, online review, favorite photo, tag and share. Thank you for purchasing apparel, snacks, and beverages from the bar. And to our members, sincere gratitude for your continued commitment to keeping WinMan awesome!

Heads Up!

Behind the scenes, we have some moving parts that we’re not quite ready to share publicly just yet. I know that’s mean to say and not elaborate on, but trust me when I say, stay tuned. 

In the meantime, you can count on the fact that we’re actively working on improving and expanding trails; “greening” up WinMan park with additional plants and landscaping; and continuing to provide a welcoming space to get outside, challenge your limits, and enjoy the incredible beauty of the Northwoods. 

6X your impact by donating to the Campaign today, and I look forward to seeing you on the trails! 

With gratitude,

Isaac Cowart

Director of Operations

PS: Donate to WinMan Trails today and help us unlock the first $5K from Susie and Rick Gering! 

PPS: Visit the Campaign Website for the latest news and progress updates