County Trail System Design

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
University of Minnesota
Recipient Type
Public College/University
Start Date
July 2008
End Date
June 2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2008, Chp. 367, Sec. 2, Subd. 03l
Appropriation Language

$175,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to design recreational trail systems for Lyon, Brown, Redwood, and Renville Counties.

2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

Overall Project Outcome and Results
Using a publicly engaged process involving citizens, county trail committees, local officials, and trail users, and building on the Center's previous state trail work, the Center for Changing Landscapes created designs/plans for individual county trail systems in Brown, Lyon, Redwood, and Renville Counties. While celebrating the region's and each county's environmental and cultural assets, the county-wide, community, district, and site scale plans/designs link the counties and the communities within them and connect to the existing city trails and the authorized state trails.

Project Goals:

  • Create county trail plans/designs that promote recreation and environmental awareness and stewardship by addressing issues of environmental type, quality, and preservation along trail corridors and in the larger trail landscapes by preserving, enhancing, and interpreting natural and cultural landscape systems and features;
  • Leverage the effectiveness of existing and planned recreational, natural, and cultural assets such as parks, trails, historic sites, conservation lands;
  • Create community and county consensus around trail opportunities; and
  • Create plans/designs for use to empower county trail funding from local and other sources.


Project Products:

  • Community-focused and county-wide trail discussions: local input and critiques of plans/designs were given in over 25 public meetings with trail committees, citizens, and local officials;
  • A printed and digital report that includes analyses of the landscape of the region and the four counties; 4 county trail system plans/designs; 49 county system routes through individual communities; 54 community trailhead locations; 19 community trailhead designs; 5 trailhead & special place designs; 5 county park trailhead designs; 4 signature element package that brand each county trail: logos, signs, kiosks, and rest areas; and a plan/design for the Chief Sleepy Eye Spur.
  • Over 60 display boards of trail work for trail committee and larger public meetings
  • Power point presentations for committee and public meetings


Plans are available for download at

Project Results Use & Dissemination

  • Local media have publicized project meetings and the work. There have been newspaper articles, newsletter articles, radio interviews, and website postings.
  • The plans/designs have been presented to and discussions held with county trail committees, park committees, city councils, and county boards.
  • Plans/designs for Chief Sleepy Eye Spur were presented to the Minnesota Senate's Capitol Investment Committee and the House's Capitol Investment Finance Division.
  • The work has been adopted including in the newly updated Southwestern Trail Plan and Lyon County's trail plan in its comprehensive plan.
  • Plans are being made for a public meeting in September that will roll out all of the work in the four counties and set the stage for cooperation among the counties and for the development of a coordinated implementation strategy.
  • Project results distributed to each county in both printed and digital form for their use and posted on LCCMR's and the Center for Changing Landscape's websites.
Project Details