The Des Moines River Valley State Trail is one of Minnesota's newest trails, authorized by the Legislature in 2009. The trail is proposed to generally follow the Des Moines River corridor from the Iowa border through the cities of Jackson and Windom and connect to the Casey Jones State Trail in Currie. The trail will link southwestern Minnesota's Kilen Woods and Lake Shetek state parks, to city and county parks, wildlife preserves and historic sites, and to Iowa's extensive Spirit Lake parks and trails system.
The draft master plan was released for public review in November 2011; the comment period ran through December 31, 2011. Open houses were held in the cities of Jackson, Windom and Currie in November and December. A revised draft is now available, including responses to the comments received. For a summary of public input, see Appendix B.
Download the full Draft Master Plan (7.48 MB) for the Des Moines River Valley State Trail.
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The Friends of Jackson County Trails have been advocating for trail development since 1998, and have worked with Jackson County and the City of Jackson to develop several trail segments within and around the city and several county parks. The group worked with area legislators to advocate for designation of a state trail extending the length of the Des Moines River in Minnesota. The river is already a designated State Water Trail and popular canoe route.
The Friends group is now working with DNR staff and with the National Park Service's Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program, which is assisting with the visioning and goal-setting process and with outreach to other corridor communities. The DNR is responsible for developing the master plan for the trail. The master plan must be completed and approved before any funds can be used for trail construction. The specific route for the trail has not yet been determined, and no segments are yet in state ownership. The master plan looks at potential routes within a broad search corridor.
See map for an overview of this corridor.
Suzanne Rhees, parks and trails planner
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 651-259-5586
Phil Nasby, parks and trails area supervisor
Email email@example.com, phone 507-831-2900 ext. 225
Vicki Robinson, land and development coordinator
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 507-831-2900 ext.223