Recreational Trail Planned for Aitkin and Itasca Counties



Public Invited to Kick-Off Meetings in November


Aitkin, MN (11/01/07)– Approximately 70 miles of new ATV/OHV recreational trail segments are being planned in North-Central Minnesota. The plan is for the new segments to link existing trails and create a system that totals nearly 500 miles.


“A nice big trail system like this will really give riders a place to go,” says Len Hardy of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, and member of the Oversight Committee for the 70-Mile Trail Project.


The trail system will eventually connect major recreation destinations from the Mille Lacs area, and the Big Sandy Lake area, and continue through to the Grand Rapids area. Communities along the potential trail corridor include McGrath, Lawler, McGregor, Palisade, Hill City, Warba, and more.


“Linking these recreational hot spots just makes sense, “ says Brian Napstad, Aitkin County Board Member, and member of the Oversight Committee.


The project was proposed by the Land Departments in Aitkin and Itasca Counties and is supported with state funding through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.


“This project is a real collaborative effort,” says Mark Jacobs, Aitkin County Land Commissioner. “The partners are working together to design a trail system that is environmentally sensitive, economically beneficial, and community supported.”


To help with the design and development of the project, the project oversight committee includes 19 representatives from the region with diverse interests and backgrounds, including business owners, recreational trail users, and environmental interests.


“The committee is here to make sure that the project gets done right,” says Steve Aysta, Itasca County Recreation Specialist and Committee Member.


The committee has also approved a contract for project coordination services with Dovetail Partners a non-profit forestry group based in Minneapolis, and Applied Ecological Services, an environmental consulting firm from Prior Lake.


The public is invited to attend two project kick-off meetings on November 27th and 28th . The meetings will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM with the meeting on the 27th at the Warba Community Center and on the 28 th at the McGregor Community Center. The meetings will include an introduction to the project and invite feedback and input as the planning moves forward.



For more information, visit the project website at