Veterans Memorial Walking Trail gets Attention
One of the frequently visited sites along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway got some extra attention this summer. From June to early August, the north loop of the Veterans Walking Trail was cleaned up and more clearly demarcated. Brush and weeds were removed from the trail itself and posts were set for upcoming trail signage.
The Pequot Lakes Sons of the American Legion (SAL) took on the task, eventually logging nearly 25 hours of donated time to complete the trail work.
In early June, SAL member Dave Badger and grandson, Matt Baker from Boy Scout Troop 90, completed the trail marking. The next step, brush and weed clearing, required commercial weed whackers provided by SAL members Darryl Skallet and Veterans Trail supporter, Keith Baker. The clearing was done by Badger and Skallet. Baker and Skallet also provided the twine and gasoline for the weed whackers.
The final step was the sign posts which were set by Badger and grandsons Michael Badger and Erik Badger of Boy Scout Troop 411. All materials for this part of the project were donated by the SAL.
The nearly 2 mile long Veterans Trail is a part of Island Lake Woods, located on DNR-owned land along County Road 16 of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway approximately 3 miles east of the Highway 371/County Rd. 16 intersection. The original south trail work, done in 2002, was funded in part by a National Recreation Trails grant and a generous donation by Dave and Mary Badger. Within the next few years following that original work a footbridge was built across Hay Creek, connecting the south and north segments. With the help of the SAL, a 500’ Wetlands Walk spanning the shrub swamp that divides the island from the mainland was also installed. A trailhead parking area and informational kiosk add to the enjoyment of the trail.