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House plan may bring area trail closer to goal of reaching Austin

Published 11:08am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Minnesota House of Representatives bonding bill, unveiled Tuesday, allocated $2 million for the Blazing Star Trail.

The bill doesn’t delineate whether that funding is for the segment the state Department of Natural Resources is working on now — from Myre-Big Island State Park to Hayward — or if it is for the next segment — from Hayward eastward toward Austin. However, the funds likely are meant for the next segment of the trail, said Joel Wagar, trails and waterways supervisor for the region.

He said it is likely the next segment will be from Hayward to a midway point, such as the KOA campground.

The funding comes as part of a $16.2 million package intended for state trails. The Blazing Star Trail funding is the first trail listed in the bill among a dozen trails.

The Blazing Star Trail presently is a 6.4-mile, paved state trail from Frank Hall Park in Albert Lea to a point on the northeast side of Myre-Big Island State Park.about three-quarters of a mile from the western shore of Albert Lea Lake’s northern bay. The trail was built in 2003.

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