State Trail Acquisition and Development

Performance Area: Outdoor Recreation

Number of state trail miles authorized, developed, and paved

Why Is This Important?

State trails provide numerous and diverse benefits. They offer recreation opportunities for bicyclists, hikers, in-line skaters, horseback riders, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. State trails are located throughout Minnesota in urban and rural areas. They are key to improving the health of Minnesotans because they provide convenient and inexpensive places to exercise. They provide economic benefits to communities and enhance tourism. They serve as transportation and conservation corridors. Trails can yield environmental benefits too—for example, providing a buffer for adjacent streams.

What Is DNR Doing?

The DNR works with local trail associations, trail user groups and communities to plan, acquire, develop and manage the state trail system. Fifty-four miles of state trails were paved between 2011 and 2015.  This included the Brown's Creek State Trail in 2014 (6 miles) and the Luce Line State Trail in 2015 (17.5 miles).  The DNR completed planning for nine state trail segments between 2011 and 2015.

Target: In 2019, we expect the number of authorized state trail miles to remain unchanged and the total developed state trail miles should remain steady. A few more miles of state will be paved, subject to available funds.