State parks and trails planning

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Heartland State Trail Extension from
Park Rapids to Itasca State Trail Master Plan

The Heartland State Trail Extension from Park Rapids to Itasca State Park is one of Minnesota's newest state trails, authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 2012. When complete, this segment will be over 20 miles long and will connect the Heartland State Trail to bicycle infrastructure and points of interest within Itasca State Park. The trail will also provide connections to the communities of Park Rapids, Emmaville, and many communities along the existing Heartland State Trail.

As planned, a significant portion of the trail will travel through abundant public lands between Park Rapids and Itasca State Park. Recommended trail uses include bicycling, hiking/walking, dog walking, running/jogging, in-line skating, environmental education/interpretation, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Heartland State Trail Extension Draft Master Plan This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (7 MB)

Public input

An open house was held during the planning process, in Park Rapids on October 2, 2013. Comments on the draft mater plan were accepted until October 25, 2013. All comments received were carefully considered.

Next steps

The draft master plan is being 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 and then goes to the DNR Commissioner's office for review and approval.

More information

Colin Kelly, Principal Planner


Tony Walzer, Acquisition and Development Specialist