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Board approves resolution to support extension to Shooting Star Trail

The wheels are turning in support of a potential connection of an interstate bike trail between Minnesota and Iowa.

During Tuesday’s session, the Mower County Board passed a resolution to support the efforts of extending the Shooting Star Trail from the current trailhead near Taopi to the Iowa border, with the end goal of linking the Shooting Star Trail with the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail.

This project was proposed many  years ago—according to Steve Kime, Vision 2020 Bike/Walking Trail Committee chairman—and Iowa is paving its bike trail to the Minnesota border this summer. For now, the connection and extension of the Shooting Star Trail is still in its planning stage, meaning land would need to get surveyed, trails designed and acquiring land if needed later down the road.

However, the details are still limited.

“It kind of gives us an incentive to make that connection on our end. I think it takes time to get things done,” Kime said. “We need everything in order to apply for the grant we need. In the end, it’s a great project and connecting an interstate trail would be a great thing, and it’s great that Iowa’s trail is just across the border from us. This is a great project and a great benefit to Mower County and Iowa.”

The goal is to have the Shooting Star Trail link LeRoy to Austin and connect smaller towns like Taopi, Adams and Rose Creek. This summer, the final 3.1 mile segment to connect the Shooting Star Trail to Austin at Highway 56 is being constructed along County Road 58.

“If the weather cooperates, we hope to have that completed this year,” Kime added.