Today, Walker mayor Scott Bruns and Shingobee committee volunteer Steve Bilben cut the ribbon to officially open the Shingobee Connection Trail.
50 trail supporters came to witness the opening of the final segment between the city of Walker and the Paul Bunyan Trail. "We started this project in 2006.", said Cindy Wannarka of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, "Now we have a 22-mile loop around Walker."
This loop is made of three sections with varying degrees of difficulty. The 7-mile Shingobee extension is moderately hilly. Section two is the Paul Bunyan State Trail with its 9 miles of steep hills and twists through the Chippewa National Forest. The easiest leg of the loop is the last six miles on the shared trail alignment of the Paul Bunyan and Heartland State Trails.
"We can see the increase in bicyclists throughout the years.", said mayor Bruns after the ribbon cutting. "These trails have brought a whole new group of people. This is huge."