Whither the Mill Towns Trail?

State Senator Kevin Dahle posted a Mill Towns Trail update to his blog a few weeks ago, having attended a recent meeting of “trail faithful.”

There are 3 projects on the horizon. A bridge will be erected across the Cannon River in Northfield near Walgreen’s connecting to an underpass of Hwy 3. Some additional trail will be built west of Cannon Falls and another bridge will be built in Faribault which will include underpass access for both Hwys. 21 and Hwy 3 north of town.

mtt-logo I’d like more details on these and other aspects of the trail but for some reason, the Mill Towns Trail website has been dead for almost two years. No minutes since Jan. 2007. Lots of outdated info. The Mill Towns Trail Board page on the Rice County website is equally unhelpful.

Who are the “trail faithful” who attended the Sept. meeting? 

Why is there never any effort to communicate with the public?


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    I’ve heard accessing the right of way is the biggest impediment:

    “There is still much to be done. Accessing right of ways, purchasing abandoned rail, completing trail heads and facilities, and maintaining existing trail is costly and involves long term commitment. ”

    I’m growing tired of biking on our county roads and state highways. I get buzzed by a white Ford Focus regularly and chased by dogs.

    September 26, 2008
  2. Holly Cairns said:

    I’d like to see light rail and bike trail near each other, or a varied use, of the old train beds. If we’re going through the trouble of acquisition and land owner issues, why not push for some sort of designed to be safe, varied use of the old beds.

    September 26, 2008
  3. Jason Eisold said:


    I am the staff assigned to the Mill Towns Trail Joint Powers Board for 2008. Staff assignment changes annual between the City of Faribault, Rice County and the City of Northfield. If you would like I can add you to our mail/email list regarding upcoming meetings/events/etc. Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 1 at Dundas City Hall at 6:00pm.

    I will also bring up at the next meeting the issue you raised regarding the above-mentioned web sites and getting current information posted on them.

    September 26, 2008
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Jason, for chiming in here. An email list is not really helpful because it can’t be linked to. So please let us know the outcome of this week’s mtg as to whether or not the web sites can be updated.

    September 29, 2008
  5. Bruce Roberts said:

    Griff and others,
    I would like to join a few interested people in the Northfield area to talk about the best way to incorporate Riverside Park as a key part of the Mill Towns Trail as it travels through Northfield. I am a resident of the Village on the Cannon and the activities on the Trail will be very much in our view. I have asked the Northfield Park Board to instigate such a discussion but so far I have heard nothing back.

    Bruce Roberts

    September 30, 2008

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