A trail like no other

It’s like a puzzle: You snap in one more piece and the picture becomes clear: Let’s build a recreational route with national significance, winding through Minnesota farmland and state parks, around lakes and over rivers. Can you picture a scenic route connecting communities hundreds of miles apart and stretching from Fergus Falls to Cass Lake and St. Joseph to Bemidji? Yes, all you have to do is put in that one puzzle piece.

The Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail officially received state trail authorization in 2009. When completed, it will provide a connection between Crow Wing State Park and the SOO Line Regional Trail. It will link the Central Lakes, Lake Wobegon, SOO Line, Paul Bunyan, Heartland and Mi-Gi-Zi Trails to be one continuous recreational route. As a first in Minnesota recreational trail construction, it will also be a true multi-use trail from its inception and will be for motorized as well as non-motorized users. This has never been done in Minnesota State Trail history. A corridor study has been completed, and the DNR finished the master plan. A formal path has yet to be determined, but the Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail will be a unique experience, it is not a rails to trails conversion.