The riverside trail, linking the Mill Towns Trail to downtown Northfield, was dedicated to Maggie Lee, who cut the purple ribbon officially opening the trail.
Maggie Lee, former editor of the Northfield News,
originated the drive to beautify the banks of the Cannon River through
the City of Northfield in 1985 after her memorable visit to San Antonio, Texas for a newspaper convention.
She led the Northfield to a major beautification project between 4th Street and 2nd Street bridges with limestone walls, walkways, pedestrian bridge.
In 2001 the city began to beautify the downtown with a TIF fund, successfully renovating the east side of the river between 5th and 4th street
bridges, including Bridge Square. Maggie is now a sprightly 89 and the Mill Town Trail organizers wanted to honor her work by naming the latest completed link of the trail to her. Mary Rossing, Mayor of Northfield, did the honors.
This summer the city completed the trail connection from Riverside
Park along the Cannon River to 5th street, a $245,000 project of
paving, sandstone walls, concrete corner.
Spencer Jones, landscape architect, designed the Riverwalk to change from park trail on the south end to cityscape on the north (5th Street) end.
The new link is only 600 feet, but a vital connection between Bridge Square downtown, the park, the Highway #3 underpass and the Peggy Prowe pedestrian bridge over the Cannon River to the Mill Towns State Trail to Dundas (3 miles).
Someday the trail will be 26 miles long, connecting the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail in Faribault with the Cannon Valley Trail in Cannon Falls.
After the ribbon cutting, attendees were offered purple coneflowers from Mayor Rossing's garden, and invited to toss them into the river and make a wish.
The Northfield Girl Scouts served as color guard.