New recreation area in the works

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 3, 2011 - 9:27 PM

Eight miles north of where the Mississippi River starts in northern Minnesota, park officials have taken the first step in shaping the state's newest recreation area. An open house Thursday helped kick-start the process to create a master plan to guide development of the La Salle Lake State Recreation Area north of Itasca State Park.

The Department of Natural Resources finished acquiring the 1,000-acre property in late October. The area will include the entire shoreline of La Salle Lake, a 213-feet-deep, 221-acre lake in Hubbard County.

Legislators authorized the new recreation area during the 2011 session, with most of the funding coming from the 2008 Legacy Amendment and a grant from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The master plan will include recommendations for managing the natural and cultural resources and for providing recreational and interpretative opportunities for visitors.

The site is currently open for limited hiking, fishing, hunting and trapping.

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