DNR invites public input on Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail at open house in Little Falls

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites anyone with an interest in the Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail to attend an open house in Little Falls Thursday, June 7, at the Morrison County Government Center, 213 First Ave. S.E., from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

It is the third and final open house to be held during the trail’s master planning process.

A short presentation at 7 p.m. will be followed by opportunities for informal discussion throughout the evening. Landowners, potential trail users and area residents are all urged to attend.

This is one of Minnesota’s newest state trails, authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 2009. It is envisioned as a multi-use system, accommodating a variety of motorized and non-motorized uses, linking the Soo Line Trail south of Little Falls to Crow Wing State Park and the Paul Bunyan State Trail. The trail will also link Camp Ripley and the cities of Pillager, Randall, Baxter and Little Falls.

DNR staff will discuss the draft master plan and next steps. Consultants, trail supporters and city, county and regional staff will also be available to answer questions. Maps, potential trail alignments and other trail information will be on display.

A specific route for the trail has not yet been determined, and no segments are yet in state ownership, outside of existing parks and preserves. Local, regional, state and private interest groups are working with a consultant, Bolton and Menk Inc., to conduct a trail corridor feasibility study. The DNR is responsible for preparing a master plan for the trail, and the two efforts are being undertaken jointly. The master plan must be completed and approved before any funds can be used for trail construction.

The draft master plan is posted at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/trails/camp_ripley_veterans.html. The required public review period will extend through June.

For more information, contact Suzanne Rhees, parks and trails planner, at [email protected], phone (651) 259-5586 or Laurie Young, parks and trails planner, at [email protected]s, phone (651) 259-5638.