Communities throughout the state can attest to the economic boost state trails provide. One of the statewide impacts of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is the expansion of our state’s vibrant trail system to more cities and towns. The Department of Natural Resources recently announced new trail projects across the state that will be funded with Legacy dollars.
In northern Minnesota, the DNR will complete two parts of the Mesabi Trail along the eastern edge of the new Vermillion State Park and in Itasca County. Further west in Detroit Lakes, a bog walk is being created in a 50 acres expansion of the Sucker Creek Preserve. A new underpass near Walker will connect the Paul Bunyan and Heartland state trails.
In southern Minnesota the DNR will repurpose 12 miles of abandoned rail line, adding to the Blazing Star State Trail near Albert Lea. Funding will be set aside to connect Rochester’s Quarry Hill Nature Center with the city’s existing trail system. A new trail will be created in Marshall connecting the city with nearby Camden State Park.
In central Minnesota, a grant will create a river overlook and additional facilities at one of the state’s true hidden gems, Bend in the River Regional Park.
All told, the DNR will be spending $7.49 million on improvements using Legacy Amendment funds. Minnesota voters overwhelmingly approved the Legacy Amendment in 2008 to provide funding for clean water, habitat, parks & trails, and arts & cultural resources.