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A popular walkway, formerly known as VIP Trail, was rechristened the Swift Creek Trail during an event Thursday when officials from Gundersen Health System and the city of La Crosse revealed that name had won top billing in a neighborhood selection process for the expanded trail.

Gundersen staff and Powell-Poage-Hamilton Neighborhood residents voted for that name over seven other finalists selected from more than 300 suggestions.

The name reflects the fact that much of the trail runs along Swift Creek.

It begins at the northern point of Isle La Plume, then runs south to the Green Island Ice Arena, across South Seventh Street, behind Bethany Lutheran Homes Eagle Crest South Assisted Living Center, along Swift Creek and veers either north behind the Gund Brewery Lofts to South Avenue or east to Maple Street.

“Gundersen is happy to partner with the city of La Crosse on expanding this trail and making it a public, city trail that provides better connectivity for everyone to our campus, to downtown La Crosse and to the exciting things La Crosse has to offer,” Gundersen CEO Scott Rathgaber said.

A group of Gundersen employees originally developed and funded the trail, which skirts the hospital campus, as a place for employees to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise over their lunch hours.

Other names gleaned from the 300 submissions and winnowed down to the finalists were River to Ridge Trail, River’s Edge Trail, River’s Walk Trail, Riverview Trail, Swift Creek Nature Trail, Swift Fox Trail and Tranquility Trail.

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Reporter

Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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