WE ARE LOCATED:
The Central Lakes Trail
is built on an abandoned Burlington Northern Railroad corridor in central
Minnesota. In Douglas County, it begins in Osakis and travels northwesterly
across three counties to Fergus Falls in Ottertail County. Along the way
it passes through Nelson, Alexandria, Garfield, Brandon, Evansville, Melby,
Ashby, and Dalton.
WHAT IS THE TRAIL'S STORY
Minnesota's 23rd State
Trail, the Central Lakes is a scenic 14’ wide bituminous recreation
trail that joins the Lake
Wobegon Regional Trail in the city of Osakis.
The trail corridor was purchased
by the State of Minnesota in 1992. Douglas and Ottertail Counties worked
with local volunteers and the Minnesota Departments of Transportation
and Natural Resources to finance construction of the trail. Federal Inter-Modal
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act Funds and State of Minnesota Regional
Trail Grant Funds provided the bulk of the 3.2 million dollars needed
to construct the 55 mile trail.
The project took 12 years to complete
and involved many partners including the National Rails to Trails Conservancy,
the Bikes Belong Coalition, and Chambers of Commerce, Service Clubs, Private
Businesses & Foundations, Township & City Governments, and cycling
enthusiasts from communities all along the corridor.
The Central Lakes Trail was dedicated
in August, 2005 with celebration rides originating in Osakis and Fergus
Falls. The riders met at Central Park in Alexandria for a ribbon cutting
ceremony. The “Driving of the Green Spike” occurred in August,
2007 when the Central Lakes Trail and the Lake Wobegon Trail were finally