By Sara Marie Moore/Editor Jul 19, 2017 Updated Jul 19, 2017
VADNAIS HEIGHTS — Ramsey County is planning to extend the Trout Brook Regional Trail from Roseville to Vadnais Heights.
The trail extension would span from Lake McCarron’s County Park in Roseville to Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park in Vadnais Heights, according to the county’s website.
The trail is currently 1.6 miles long and extends from the Gateway section of the Willard Munger State Trail in Saint Paul to Lake McCarron’s County Park. The plan would be to connect it to the trail on the south side of Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park.
The idea for the connecting trail began in 2008 when the city of Little Canada was updating its parks and trails plan, according to county documents.
Ray Borens, a Shoreview resident at the time and bikeway advocate, was familiar with the efforts of a bikeway group and the city of Little Canada. Borens suggested that there might be a potential corridor through Maplewood and Little Canada that could link the northern suburbs to the proposed Trout Brook Regional Trail to downtown Saint Paul.
Little Canada received support from Active Living Ramsey County, Ramsey County Parks and the city of Maplewood, as well as planning assistance from the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service.
The trail connection would increase recreational and commuter bicycle access. The trail would ultimately create access between all these trails and areas: Trout Brook Trail, Gateway Trail, downtown Saint Paul, the Mississippi River Corridor, Vadnais‐Snail Lake Regional Park and the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes.
Several alternate routes are being considered for the potential connection, according to a graphic rendering. The trail would generally run east of Rice Street and west of I-35E. One of the potential routes into Vadnais Heights is along the proposed Rice Street and I-694 interchange. Another route would require an additional pedestrian bridge cross the freeway further east.
The total project cost estimate is about $6 million, according to county documents.
Community meetings about the trail were held earlier this spring and the idea was generally well received, said Ramsey County staff. A planning team is currently compiling comments and feedback to provide a draft plan to the Little Canada, Maplewood and Vadnais Heights city councils the end of this year, she added.
The plans would also have to go through the Ramsey County Board and Metropolitan Council.
Editor Sara Marie Moore can be reached at 651-407-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org