Nisswa and Lake Shore continue to work together to complete their combined 4.4 mile portion of the Gull Lake Trail which will one day connect four communities around the lake – East Gull Lake, Fairview Township, Lake Shore and Nisswa.
The paved, multi-use trail will total 21 miles.
Residents had a second opportunity to review the trail plans and provide feedback during an open house on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Nisswa Community Center that Nisswa and Lake Shore co-hosted. The cities held a similar event last August and plan to hold another in the spring to educate people and gather more feedback.
The 4.04 miles of Lake Shore Trail – with an estimated cost of $1,138,288 – is nearly complete. The trickiest last 1.3 miles – from Bar Harbor Supper Club, over Gull Lake Narrows, over Zorbaz on Gull to the Nisswa town line – remain to be done at an estimated cost of $1,319 $000 (excluding final engineering), and the city raises funds to seek grants to complete this part.
The completed trail at Lake Shore includes 2,276 miles adjacent to but detached from County State Aid Highway 77, and 1.77 miles of widened shoulder along CSAH 77.
The 3.1 miles of Nisswa Trail – estimated to cost $1,663,000 – will be built from the Lake Shore town line on Highway 77 North on county state aid in following Lower Roy Lake Road and connecting to Hazelwood Drive to the tunnel that goes under Highway 371 to downtown and the Paul Bunyan Trail.
The two towns are working together in hopes of having a better chance of receiving state and federal grants, including inherited state amendment funds and grants from the Department of Natural Resources.
Lake Shore encourages residents to contribute to its Interests Fund.
The Township of Fairview is also fundraising and has received grants for their portion of the Gull Lake Trail which will connect the East Gull Lake and Lake Shore Trails. The nearly 8 mile portion of the trail township will cost approximately $1,717,900.
The township has final funding in the form of grants and donations totaling $531,000 and is waiting for the Legislature to approve $1,206,913 from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, which provides grants for projects from outside Minnesota using legacy funds. Credits will be disbursed by May 31, with access to funds in July.
Additionally, the township will hold a fundraiser in May to fill in the gaps.
None of the communities plan to use tax dollars to pay for the trails, except for basic maintenance. Instead, they seek out grants and other funding opportunities.