Deep Lake Park deemed ‘regionally significant’

With this designation, Deep Lake Park becomes eligible for development funding.

A beautiful overview of the lake and 439-acre property that will be developed into a year-round county park.
Contributed/SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

Hubbard County’s proposed recreational park, called Deep Lake, attained an important regional designation.

The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) approved the county’s master plan for the year-round park and its inclusion in the Greater Minnesota Regional System.

This status opens up funding streams for developing the new park.

County Land Commissioner Mark “Chip” Lohmeier informed county commissioners of the good news.

According to a March 31 letter from Joe Czapiewski, GMRPTC system plan coordinator, “The application process to achieve regional designation is designed to ensure that parks and trails included in the Greater Minnesota Regional System are of high value and provide a quality recreation opportunity. Your master plan evaluation for the park scored 371 out of 500 points by the commission’s independent evaluation team.”


The consensus of the evaluation team was this: “This is a very ambitious plan on a wonderful piece of property. The county must be very careful in how aggressively they plan for phasing and final design to make sure they don't overbuild or extend past their capacity. Be realistic on timeline and costs, so try to accomplish big impact/value projects first. The overall area has high-quality, natural-resource recreation as well as high levels of use, so consider the plan carefully with that in mind.”

Czapiewski stated that Deep Lake Park will be included on the GMRPTC website ( ) as well as the Legacy Advisory Committee’s integrated website MN Great Outdoors ( ), “a one-stop site for all parks and trails of the DNR, Metropolitan Council and GMRPTC.”

With the regionally significant designation, Deep Lake Park is eligible for funding. Czapiewski said the fiscal year 2025 application cycle closes at the end of July 2023.

With Lohmeier’s pending retirement in May, board chair Tom Krueger noted on Tuesday, April 4, that the grant application will need to be coordinated with his replacement.

County Administrator Jeff Cadwell said the county will likely rely on SRF Consulting Group, Inc. of Minneapolis – the firm hired in Aug. 2021 to develop the master plan – to fill out the grant applications.

Located at the former Val Chatel ski resort, the 440-acre property includes the entire shoreline of Deep Lake and a smaller, unnamed lake.

The master plan calls for both RV, tent and cabin camping; hiking, snowshoe and cross-country ski trails; a spur to an adjacent ATV trail; mountain biking, picnic areas and non-motorized water activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

Total construction costs were estimated at $7,581,000 in Nov. 2022. Development is divided into five phases.


Lohmeier said the next step is a historical review by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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