New trail section opens in Battle Creek

The new trail segment is shown as a dotted red line and runs along Lower Afton Road from McKnight Road to Battle Creek Park Entrance Road (Point Douglas Road), where it becomes an on-road strip that follows Battle Creek Entrance Road up to the parking lot. Solid red lines show existing trails in Battle Creek Regional Park. (submitted graphic)

Bikers and pedestrians in Ramsey County now have 1.5 new miles of trail to enjoy in Battle Creek Regional Park. Construction is complete on an addition to the Lower Afton Trail that extends the trail from McKnight Road to and along Battle Creek Park Entrance Road, formerly known as Point Douglas Road.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony held July 10, Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough discussed the importance of extending the trail and increasing access to safe and well-maintained recreational areas for local citizens. State Sen. Foung Hawj and state Rep. Sheldon Johnson were also in attendance.

The new addition is 0.9 miles of paved trail along Lower Afton Road and 0.6 miles of an on-road trail strip along Battle Creek Park Entrance Road. The on-road portion of the trail ties into the Mississippi River Trail, which is a network of approximately 3,000 miles of pathways that follow the river from Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico.

Design of the new segment began in fall 2011, and construction took place during the spring and summer of 2012. Designed to meet all federal trail guidelines, the project cost just under $950,000 and was funded through the Legacy Parks and Trail Amendment, administered by Metropolitan Council, and Federal Transportation Enhancement funds administered through MnDOT Metro State Aid.

The bituminous pavement used for the project includes a specialized asphalt mixture containing recycled shingles, and the concrete retaining walls and pavers also have a recycled component.

Battle Creek Regional Park and the Lower Afton Trail are maintained by Ramsey County Parks and Recreation.

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