The City of Duluth has been selected to receive a total of $400,000 in grants from the Federal Recreational Trails Grant Program and from the Minnesota DNR Regional Trail Grant Program.

There were 41 applications for the Regional Trail Grant Program (funding comes from “In Lieu Of” lottery proceeds) with requests totaling over $4.79 million and only a little over $1 million to allocate. And the Federal Trail Grant Program (funding comes from the Federal Highway Administration) had over $4.66 million in grant requests with $2.62 million available for funding.

There will be four extensions coming with these grants:

  • Extension 1 - 3.25 miles from Becks Road and heading west into the Mission Creek Trail Center connecting to existing trails (funded and completed by a 2013 FRTP grant award and a 2011 Legacy Trail Grant): This section along with a section in progress completes the Mission Creek Duluth Traverse “Connector Trail”.
  • Extension 2 - 3.25 miles from Hwy 53 to Haines Road in the Piedmont Neighborhood: This extension connects the western terminus of the Traverse “Connector Trail” in Enger Park (funded by a 2014 FRTP grant award expected to be completed this fall) to the existing trail centers at Piedmont Recreation Area and Brewer Park.
  • Extension 3 - Skyline Parkway/Brewer Park to Spirit Mountain Recreation Area (5.45 miles): Spirit Mountain and Brewer Park are two of six ride centers in the City and this route will connect them and provide easy access to both centers for the west Duluth communities.
  • Extension 4 - Additional build-out of the Mission Creek Trail Center (5.45 miles): This extension will add to the existing 14.8 miles in the Mission Creek Trail Center for a total of 20.25 miles. Anchoring the western terminus of the Duluth Traverse Trail this new trail will connect the Fond-du-lac neighborhood directly to the Duluth Traverse Trail system. In total 17.4 miles of natural surface shared-use trail will be added to the Duluth Traverse Trail system connecting neighborhoods, natural areas and people to the green spaces and parks of Duluth.

I love these ideas and they definitely accommodate beautiful outdoor life in the Northland. You can find more information at duluthmn.gov. Let me know in the comments below what you think of these improvements.