State parks and trails planning

Other resources

Research & Studies

Camp Ripley Veterans State Trail Planning

The Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail is one of Minnesota's newest state trails, authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 2009. The trail 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.

Local, regional, state, and private interest groups worked with a consultant, Bolton & 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 were jointly undertaken. The feasibility study is now complete and the trail master plan has now been revised to address the comments we have received.

For more information on the corridor feasibility study process, visit the corridor study website.

The project team developed several potential trail alignment options for consideration. All alignment options, for both motorized and non-motorized use, were available for public review and comment. Trail alignment options are only search corridors at this point. 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. The master plan must be completed and approved before any funds can be used for trail construction.

Download the master plan draft here. Each file is under 1 MB.

Public input

Three open houses were held during the planning process, in Little Falls in November 2011, Baxter in March 2012, and Little Falls in June 2012. Comments on the draft master plan were accepted until July 6, 2012. All comments received were carefully considered and a summary of the input is provided in Appendix B of the master plan.

Next steps

The draft master plan has been revised to incorporate comments from the public and from DNR natural resource managers. This final draft will be reviewed at the regional headquarters of the relevant DNR regions (the trail corridor crosses the Northeastern, Northwestern, and Central regions) and then goes to the DNR Commissioner’s office for review and approval.

More information

Laurie Young, planning supervisor
Email, phone 651-259-5638

Suzanne Rhees, parks and trails planner
Email, phone 651-259-5586