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Shingobee Connection Trail – Phase 6 funding secured

The first five phases of the Shingobee Connection Trail, a multiyear project, was completed in 2014 linking the State Paul Bunyan and Heartland Trail Systems.  The name “Shingobee” was chosen because of its Ojibwe translation meaning pine, cedars, spruce and typifies the high-quality natural region the trail traverses.

The idea for the Shingobee Connection Trail emerged during June 2005. Over the next few years dozens of people stepped forward and collectively donated thousands of hours of time and labor.

Phase 6:  The trail crossing at the south edge of Walker is the only highway crossing of the 7-mile completed trail in which pedestrians and bicyclists must cross the busy Highway 200/371.  Steve Bilben, (Shingobee Trails Taskforce) along with the Walker’s “Bicycle Friendly Committee” under the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce have once again been pushing forward for the final phase of the Shingobee Connection Trail.

Funding sources for Phase 6 have been secured with the 2024 DNR Regional Trail Grant Program of $300,000 along with MnDOT’s Local Partner’s Program (LPP). The $300,000 DNR grant was critical to enable this project to proceed.

The underpass construction will likely be done soon after July 2025, and when completed, will eliminate the crossing at the high speed, high volume (9,000 vehicles per day) traffic hazard presently encountered by bicyclists & Pedestrians users.  When constructed, it will be a 12 x 10 box culvert approximately 100 ft. long.

With the completion of this under pass (phase 6) it will serve to allow safe access for all pedestrians and bicyclists, plus  trishaw Cycle without Ageing Program  and The Silver Awarded City of Walker for being bike friendly will move one step closer to being Gold.

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