The Department of Natural Resources is hosting three public meetings to begin the process of updating the Taconite State Trail master plan.
Authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 1974, the 145-mile Taconite State Trail connects Ely to Grand Rapids and passes through Bear Head Lake and McCarthy Beach state parks. It is used primarily for snowmobiling, with limited summer hiking, biking and horseback riding. The trail has an existing master plan, approved in 1980, but a new master plan is necessary to reflect how it has been developed and used over the past 35 years, while also considering new opportunities.
Trail users, land administrators and other stakeholders can help shape the new master plan by providing input at any of these upcoming public meetings:
- Grand Rapids – Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Itasca County Fairgrounds, Trailhead Building, 1336 Fairgrounds Road.
- Side Lake – Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the French Town Hall, 7548 Highway 5.
- Tower – Thursday, March 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Civic Center, 402 Pine St.
All meetings will provide the same information in an open house format, so people can stop by anytime to ask questions and provide comments. Information also will be available at DNR offices in Grand Rapids and Tower, at Bear Head Lake and McCarthy Beach state parks, and on the Taconite State Trail Planning Web page.
Anyone unable to attend a meeting can provide input by contacting the following DNR staff via phone or email:
- Diane Anderson, principal planner, 651-259-5614, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Joe Majerus, DNR area supervisor (Tower), 218-753-2580, ext. 252, email@example.com.
- Bob Moore, DNR area supervisor (Grand Rapids), 218-999-7923, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional opportunities to provide input will be available in future stages of the planning process.