The Lower Heath Creek Bicycle Pedestrian Trail: coming soon to Bridgewater Township?

Leif KnechtNow that Leif Knecht has copious amounts of idle time on his hands, he’s ramping up his efforts to create what he’s calling the Lower Heath Creek Bicycle Pedestrian Trail in Bridgewater Township.

As the map below shows, the trail would loop around Heath Creek south of Old Dutch Road and north of Armstrong Road, adjacent to the Gill-Prawer property that’s currently in annexation negotiations for the development of the West Armstrong Business Park:

Lower Heath Creek Bicycle Pedestrian TrailThe trail would obviously connect to the Mill Towns Trail at Sechlar Park. It also could connect to trails on the west and north sides of St. Olaf College’s property, possibly providing an alternate Mill Towns Trail route around Northfield to Waterford for eventual connection to the Cannon Valley Trail in Cannon Falls.

Note that Leif has written on the map:

These are concepts only. All actual routes, buffer are subject to onsite verification of feasibility and landowner cooperation.

Click the map thumbnail once for a medium-sized image. Then click the green arrow to view a very large image.


  1. Looks pretty good, though it seems odd that he didn’t draw a connection to Edgebrook Drive. Since Old Dutch Road is higher-speed (45 or 55), it seems like it would make sense to provide a direct connection to Edgebrook.

    I assume this trail proposal is contingent on the success of the Spring Brook annexation. Even if that were successful, much of trail would fall outside the annexation area, which raises the question of maintenance of the trail. That’s certainly not to say Bridgewater should not do this, but I honestly mean that’s a question that must be considered.

    If they found a successful way of addressing the situation, it could be a useful template for creating shared-use paths and sidewalks in other urbanizing areas of the township. (For example, the township might take responsibility for maintenance of the trail surface, but either the trail would not be plowed or the adjacent property owner would be responsibly for shoveling.)

    December 20, 2009
  2. Stephanie Henriksen said:


    From what I’ve heard, Edgebrook Drive residents are not particularly enthusiastic about this bike trail and would not welcome it coming close to their properties. The prospect of an industrial park coming in all around them is enough of an intrusion.

    I hope you will come to the Northfield City Council meeting Tuesday night Feb. 9, 7 pm at City Hall when Council will vote on the Gill/Prawer annexation. This conflicts, again, with our regular monthly township meeting, which had to be moved up to Feb. 16.

    February 7, 2010
  3. Stephanie,
    Ironically, the one thing about this trail that would not require landowner cooperation is a connection to Edgebrook Drive. There is already township ROW at ~92nd St plane. I don’t want them to be railroaded anything (more than they’re being by the industrial park), but I also don’t want to see a bike trail made less safe and less integrated to please landowners.

    While the larger project may be harmful to Edgebrook Drive, the possibility of a trail should be seen as a silver lining.

    February 11, 2010
  4. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Leif is using his proposed trail as a selling point for the 456-acre industrial park. It adds a recreational element, he thinks. He testifies in favor of the project at every opportunity, now that he is no longer on the township board.

    Do come to upcoming township meetings. Our planning commission meets Saturday morning 8:30-11:30 am at the township hall to look at model stream protection ordinances, etc. I can’t be there.

    February 11, 2010

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