New North Loop Finished at Veterans Walking Trail

The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway’s popular Veterans Walking Trail has received a new loop on the north side of this DNR-owned Island Lake Woods area site.

In April, Joe DeJaeger of the DNR, met at the site with Lynn Scharenbroich, chair of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association, to sketch out the trail layout and identify optimal locations for observation benches.

With him were crew members of one of the seventeen Minnesota Conservation Corps Young Adult Programs and their crew leader, Kelsey Fitzgerald. Kelsey and her crew of four young adults, aged 18-25, were the actual trail makers.  They came onto the site about a week prior to the Governor’s Fishing Opener, brushed out and edged the trail path, and marked the previously identified locations for observation benches that will be installed at a later date.

Funding for this project was appropriated by the Minnesota legislature to be used by the DNR in 2008 for non-motorized trail projects.

With the addition of the North Loop, the Veterans Walking Trail now has the following walking options:

  • Woods Walking Trail from the trailhead to the footbridge
  • Wetlands Walk from Ridge Path to the island
  • Island Loop encircling the Island at the end of the Wetlands Walk
  • North Loop, the newest addition to the collection of trail options at the site

This has been one of the major undertakings of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association.  Because of the significant support over the years from not only the DNR, but also the Pequot Lakes American Legion and the Sons of the American Legion, the Dave and Mary Badger family and Crow Wing County, the Veterans Walking Trail is a now a wonderful area amenity that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors all year long.

The trail is located on County Road 16, three miles east of the Highway 371/Crow Wing County Rd. 16 intersection on the north side of the road. Look for the Byway logo on the site sign.

News Category: 
Published Date: 
Friday, June 6, 2008
Published By: 
the Brainerd Dispatch