Glacial Lakes State Trail to be reconstructed between Willmar and Spicer

A 6-mile section of the Glacial Lakes State Trail will be closed as contractors work on improvements, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Trail users will see intermittent closures until June 1 as workers remove trees and brush that are near the work area.

The segment between the trailhead in Willmar and Spicer’s south side at Progress Way is scheduled to close on June 5 as workers begin mill and overlay work on the trail’s westernmost 6 miles. The project is scheduled for completion by Aug. 25.

In addition to a smooth, new surface, trail users will enjoy new benches, improved accessibility, and paved crossings at gravel road intersections. The current 8-foot trail width will also be expanded to 10 feet.

“We think our trail users will be pleased with these improvements,” said Jeremy Losinski, area supervisor for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “The wider trail will provide easier passage. Plus, the smoother pavement replaces the trail’s oldest paved surface, which is now more than 20 years old. It had deteriorated and reached the end of its life cycle.”

Contractors will also be replacing several culverts along the trail to provide better drainage.

“While we want to make sure everyone is safe, there will still be opportunities to use parts of the trail during construction,” Losinski said. “The construction will start in Willmar and work its way toward Spicer, so small portions of the trail will have limited use. Our trail users may not be able to go all the way from Willmar to Spicer during times in the construction process. We just ask that our trail users obey the closure signs and avoid construction equipment.”

Prinsburg-based Duininck, Inc., is the contractor. Construction updates will be posted on the DNR’s Glacial Lakes State Trail Web page.

The 22-mile western segment of the Glacial Lakes State Trail links Willmar with the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line. The 5-mile eastern segment connects Roscoe to Cold Spring. Built on the former Burlington Northern railroad grade, a total of 27 miles is paved as the trail cuts across the border between Minnesota’s western tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest.