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Recreational trail to be constructed in stages

The Perham to Pelican Rapids Regional Trail, when completed, will be a 10-foot wide, 32-mile long, multi-use recreational trail connecting the communities of Perham and Pelican Rapids via Maplewood State Park.

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The east section of the Pelican Rapids to Perham recreational trail, along Highway 34, is part of construction plans for the summer of 2019. Tom Hintgen/Perham Focus

The Perham to Pelican Rapids Regional Trail, when completed, will be a 10-foot wide, 32-mile long, multi-use recreational trail connecting the communities of Perham and Pelican Rapids via Maplewood State Park.

The trail is being constructed in phases.

"There will be considerable community outreach and opportunities for feedback throughout the planning and construction phases," said Rick West, public works director for Otter Tail County.

This summer there is construction of the east segment of the trail in conjunction with the rebuild of County Highway 34 from Perham to County Highway 35.

Otter Tail County is pursuing funding for the west segment which stretches from Pelican Rapids to the west border of Maplewood State Park.

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In addition to considerable health and community benefits, trails also offer opportunities for economic growth and development.

County commissioners point out that the city of Battle Lake is the perfect example of the health, community and economic benefits of a recreational trail.

In 2014, the Glendalough Trail opened, connecting the city of Battle Lake to nearby Glendalough State Park. The trail quickly became ingrained into the area's identity.

According to Battle Lake Mayor Gene Kelm, "The trail has brought considerable economic infusion to Battle Lake and the region. Our downtown has become a bustling scene of restaurants, shops, arts and business services."

Downtown Battle Lake is not the only beneficiary of the trail's boom. Glendalough State Park, about 3 miles northeast of Battle Lake, is seeing a lot more action, too. Prior to the Glendalough Trail, the state park was struggling to attract users. Now, Glendalough is experiencing its highest visitation ever.

Related Topics: OTTER TAIL COUNTY
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