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Heartland Trail Spur gets county support

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Hubbard County is lending its support for the Heartland State Trail extension from Park Rapids to Itasca State Park.

Last week, county commissioners approved a resolution, which says the county “has an interest in developing and connecting local tails to provide more recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. The Heartland State Trail Extension Spur has been championed and guided from the beginning by a dedicated committee of local citizens.”

It continues by saying the spur is “considered a destination trail in the DNR Division of Parks and Trails’ latest system management plan, and is expected to get a high level of public use, and thus, should get the DNR’s highest level of investment, support and maintenance.”

The extension would begin where the existing trail crosses CSAH 4, then proceed north through Emmaville toward Itasca State Park’s south entrance station.

Eric Haugland, who is on the citizens-led Heartland Spur committee, presented the resolution at the July 16 board meeting.


County commissioner Char Christenson commented, “This is going to be a really interesting ride through this area. It’s going to be a unique opportunity.”

The board unanimously approved the resolution.

DNR staff conducted a preliminary engineering study of the preferred route and developed an estimated cost, with the goal of bringing the proposal to state elected officials and seeking funding during the Legislature’s bonding year in 2020. The study will soon be available.

Haugland said Vic Olson is in contact with Sen. Paul Utke and Rep. Steve aGreen and Matt Grossell and plans to meet with them this fall.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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