DNR News Release - 12.1.16

December 1, 2016

Anyone with an interest in the future of the Taconite State Trail in northeastern Minnesota is invited to review an updated master plan for the trail and submit ideas by Friday, Jan. 6.

Staff from the Parks and Trails Division of the Department of Natural Resources will be available to answer questions about the planning process and receive comments at the following informal open house meetings:

  • Grand Rapids – Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Itasca County Fairgrounds, Trailhead Building, 1336 Fairgrounds Road.
  • Ely – Monday, Dec. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Vermilion Community College, Classroom Building, Room CL 104, 1900 East Camp St.
  • Side Lake – Tuesday, Dec. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the French Township Hall/Community Building, 7548 Highway 5.

The Taconite State Trail extends over 145 miles from Ely (in St. Louis County) to Grand Rapids (in Itasca County). It is a multiple-use, multiple-season trail, which has been used primarily for snowmobiling. Other proposed trail uses include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and off-highway vehicle riding, where sustainable and practical.

“The Taconite State Trail provides amazing access to the beauty and variety of northeast Minnesota and brings many visitors to this area,” said Scott Kelling, northeast regional manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “This plan provides flexibility for deciding where various trail uses are allowed. It considers what uses are compatible and sustainable and weighs local needs and preferences. We look forward to receiving comments and feedback from the public as we refine this plan.”

The master plan was last approved in 1981. The new draft is available on the Taconite Trail planning webpage.

Anyone unable to review and comment on the draft at the open house meetings can submit comments by phone or email to:

Crane Lake VTB

Crane Lake,MN


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ULTRA Snowmobile Club

Detroit Lakes,MN

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Voyageur Snowmobile Club

Two Harbors,MN


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Tri-K Sports Inc

Maple Plain,MN


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Lake Vermilion Resort Association



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Bee Line Yamaha Super Store

Saint Joseph,MN


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Northeastern Hotel, Saloon & Grille



Arcadia Lodge



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Pine Cone Lodge and Vacation Rentals



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Ollie's Service



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