DNR approves new master plan for Taconite State Trail

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division has approved a new master plan for the Taconite State Trail, including the David Dill/Taconite State Trail. This master plan will guide the development, management and operation of the state trail to provide quality recreational opportunities for the next 15 to 20 years. 

The Taconite State Trail is a multiple-use, multiple-season trail located in northeastern Minnesota and extending over 145 miles from Ely to Grand Rapids.

While the original master plan allowed for snowmobiling, hiking, biking and horseback riding, the new plan adds all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-road trucks where practical, feasible and sustainable. Snowmobiling will remain as the primary winter use and is accommodated on the entire trail from Ely to Grand Rapids. The public will be notified in advance of any changes in use on the trail.

A DNR interdisciplinary team developed the master plan with assistance from local and federal government agencies, trail advocates, and other interested stakeholders. Additional input and comments were gathered from the public during a 30-day public review period ending Jan. 6, 2017. Open house meetings were held in Ely, Side Lake and Grand Rapids. Public feedback was reviewed and incorporated into the master plan.

“Now that the plan has been completed, we can work with our trail partners to begin implementing it,” said Scott Kelling, northeast regional manager for Minnesota state parks and trails. “New uses can be considered, which opens the door to making trail connections and optimizing use.”

The new master plan is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).