Paving of new state trail in Stillwater could begin this spring
- February 16, 2012 - 8:56 PM
The paving of the new Browns Creek State Trail will begin this spring or summer in Stillwater and move west, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
Agency officials signed the $4.25 million purchase agreement for the trail on Thursday at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater.
Initial stages of construction also will include removal of the old Minnesota Zephyr dinner train rails and their supporting ties along the 5.9-mile route. A third undertaking will include redevelopment of the Zephyr bridge over Hwy. 95, known locally as St. Croix Trail.
"We really can't overstate the importance of this addition to our state trail system," said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR's parks and trails division. "State trails often have to be acquired one small parcel at a time, so we're excited about being able to purchase this entire 5.9-mile segment from a single landowner all at once."
David Paradeau, who operated the long-running Zephyr train until 2008, sold the land to the state last summer. He continues to own the train, which is for sale nationally, and the shuttered depot and restaurant at the north end of downtown Stillwater.
The country contributed $1 million from voter-approved Land and Water Legacy funds. The balance came from state conservation funds.
The new trail will connect with the 18-mile Gateway State Trail, the busiest in Minnesota, in the city of Grant west of Stillwater.
The DNR estimates 75,000 people a year will use the trail on foot or bicycle.
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