Great River Ridge Trail will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the eight new miles of dual tread way trail on Saturday, June 19, approximately 2 PM, at the gazebo on Elgin’s Main Street among the art scluptures.
The event coincides with Elgin Cheese Days.
The Trail Management Committee will also have a walk/run race at 8:00 AM with various lengths from one mile to five miles. Go to www.rrec.info for more information.
There will also be geocaching clues posted at the gazebo for caches hidden on the new 8 miles.
The trail, which begins in Plainview, had eight more miles added late last fall making it 13 miles long and ending at Olmsted County Road 9 in a parking lot. The idea for a trail began in 1997 when DM&E sold the 13 mile spur line to newly formed Wabasha County Regional Rail Authority. The trail has been developed in bits and pieces with the first five mile section of asphalt laid in 2001.
There are 30 bridges which had to be re-decked and railings and aprons attached. The trail will be complete when 1.5 miles to a bridge over Hwy 14 is completed and the trail links to Chesterwoods/Eyota Trail.
This is the first completed section of Whitewater Country Loop, a 50 mile loop crossing three counties, eight towns, two state parks, one county park and linking into Rochester’s trail system.
The trail is named for its aerial view from space and its ridge location between the Mississippi River, Zumbro River, and Whitewater River valleys.
On the new eight mile section a user will pass the boyhood home of Frank B Kellogg, Nobel Peace Prize winner, smell wild ginger, see wild turkeys, prairie flowers and grasses, notice an original cut rock limestone culvert and cross a 100 year old, 112 foot, 30’ high tressel. The trail also passes two of the four creameries which were original customers of the railroad in the late 1800s.