I would like to thank the cities of Mound, Spring Park, Orono, Minnetonka Beach and Wayzata for their leadership in plowing the Dakota Rail Regional Trail this winter and making it a highly successful first season of winter maintenance. Thanks to their work efforts, people were able to walk, run and bike on the trail from County Road 110 in Mound all the way to the eastern end of the trail in Wayzata.
Each winter Three Rivers Park District partners with cities to coordinate snow removal. Three Rivers contributes a small fee to our city partners toward the cost of snow removal. This partnership to use existing and local resources makes sense because the work can be efficiently performed by city crews as they work to clear other snow in their city. This allows the snow removal to happen much faster than if Three Rivers staff had to move equipment throughout the 165-mile regional trail system. This winter approximately 110 miles of regional trails were cleared by working together with cities.
Since it opened in 2008, the Dakota Rail Trail has been one of the most popular in the Three Rivers system. Nearly 474,000 visits were made to this trail in the spring/summer/fall season in 2019, and we anticipate a dramatic increase in visits when 2020 data is available. The work of our partner cities made it possible for the first time for walkers, dog walkers, runners and bicyclists to enjoy the trail in winter. As both a Three Rivers Park Commissioner and a park/trail user, I am grateful for their efforts.