Welcome to the Central Lakes State Trail virtual tour! Enjoy the small towns, city parks, and lakes that border this trail. We hope the tour prompts you to visit the state trail in person sometime soon.
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This is the start of the Central Lakes State Trail in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The paved, nearly level trail runs 55 miles from Fergus Falls to Osakis. Pass through this tunnel to begin your journey. You will discover trail sections that feature prairie plants that hearken back to times of old. The Fergus Falls to Dalton section of the trail showcases a beautiful mix of woods, lakes, wetlands, and prairie remnants.
Watch a captioned video about Fergus Falls to Dalton. (1 minute 31 seconds)
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Ten miles southeast of Fergus Falls, the trail runs past a park in the City of Dalton. Stop here to rest and enjoy picnic tables, a playground, and a restroom.
Watch a captioned video about Dalton to Ashby. (1 minute 04 seconds)
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While riding this section of trail through Ashby, Minnesota, you will see how much of the city was built around the railroad tracks. You may pass several grain elevators and other buildings that, in years past, sprang to life when the train arrived. The Central Lakes State Trail is built on the former railroad line.
Watch a captioned video about Ashby to Melby. (1 minute 13 seconds)
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The trail passes Lake Christina just to the north of Melby, Minnesota. This shallow lake provides lovely scenery and is an important stopping point for migrating waterfowl. You will also experience great vistas of Pelican Lake to the west of Melby.
Watch a captioned video about Melby to Evansville. (1 minute 03 seconds)
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You may choose to begin your ride or walk in Evansville, Minnesota. Here, you’ll find a small shelter that is perfect for a family picnic or a quick break. Travel six miles to the southeast and reach Brandon, or five miles to the northwest and reach Melby.
Watch a captioned video about Evansville to Brandon. (1 minute 12 seconds)
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The trail north of Brandon, Minnesota, features vistas of area farmland. South of Brandon, you will encounter lovely wooded glades. Stop here and enjoy this picnic shelter featuring the actual railroad sign from Brandon’s old depot.
Watch a captioned video about Brandon to Garfield. (1 minute 32 seconds)
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The City of Garfield is a great place to begin your trip. Head south towards Alexandria or north to Brandon and enjoy a mixture of woods and grasslands.
Watch a captioned video about Garfield to Alexandria. (1 minute 15 seconds)
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A wonderful trail to ride, walk, run, or skate and a 28 foot tall Viking to boot! Visit this section of trail and come away with a picture of this larger than life statue of Big Ole the Viking. This trailhead in Alexandria is a hub of activity within the community.
Watch a captioned video about Alexandria to Nelson. (1 minute 14 seconds)
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Located five miles southeast of Alexandria and six miles northwest of Osakis, Nelson is a nice place to take a break. Portions of the trail in this area are elevated many feet above the grasslands and wetlands that surround it.
Watch a captioned video about Nelson to Osakis. (1 minute 13 seconds)
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Lake Osakis is just down the street from the Central Lakes State Trail. Wouldn’t a dip in the lake feel nice on a warm day? The Lake Wobegon Regional Trail, which connects to the Central Lakes State Trail, begins on the east edge of town and continues 46 miles to St. Joseph, Minnesota.