Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail
Jack Doepke, Coordinator
Chisago Lakes Public TV
27466 Leah Lane
Chisago City, MN 55013
Phone: 651-260- 0550
Email Jack Doepke
Celebrate the Past - Participate in the Future
A 20 mile, multi-use trail being developed through the Chisago Lakes Area celebrating Swedish Immigrant History. Hear the history of the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail. There is an English Language Version and a Swedish Language Version.
People love trails!
Minnesotans chose trails as their #1 priority for recreational development in a statewide study.
The goal of the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail Project is to build and maintain a 20 mile, multi-use, hard surface trail that provides a safe route for recreation and alternative transportation, while interpreting and celebrating the Swedish Immigrant History of Chisago County.
The Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail is a trail with multiple city connections, off road safety and will provide useful transportation connections with schools, parks and retail areas. The project has widespread community involvement and is valued for traffic control and environmental benefits. Community advocates featured the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail in their America's Best Communities Competition. Area residents filled an auditorium listening to Dan Buettner's Blue Zone message and lessons for healthy living.
The project Master Plan illustrates connections including a state park, six cities and a private campground, currently connected to the trail. Scenic attractions include the famous Eichten's Cheese & Bison Farm with smoked string cheese and bison burgers. Enjoy scenic views at Interstate State Park and tour the Franconia Sculpture Park, free admission and open dawn to dusk year round. Visitors can also enjoy canoe trips on the St Croix River at Interstate State Park or on the lakes area water trail now offering a number of campsites around the water trail. Day trippers come for the day or stay and play. The trail connects you to the fun.
The trail meets 21st century standards and is designed for accessibility with required grades. There is currently an accessible parking area off Tern Avenue and Redwing Avenue in Shafer that this project connects to. A project proposal is to place bituminous paving on a connection of the original demonstration project in the City of Shafer with the East End project connected to Taylors Falls and trails within the Interstate State Park. Upon further development there are plans to connect additional trail systems to the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail:
- Taylors Falls City Trails
- Sunrise Prairie Regional Trail
- Willard Munger Trail
- Gateway State Trail
Upon completion, the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail will provide a 20 mile trail. The trail will connect and provide for commuter use between Wyoming, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, Shafer and Taylors Falls by providing and east/west connection through these cities. The connection project will connect Interstate State Park west to and through the City of Shafer. Only three properties remain for acquisition to connect to Center City, Chisago City and Lindstrom. SWEDISH IMMIGRANT REGIONAL TRAIL MASTER PLAN (PDF)
Reservations are NOT necessary to use our Regional Trails. However, registration is necessary if large events are planned on the trails. A large event is one that will add significant traffic to the trail and might hinder its use by others during this time. You must register all events with greater than 30 participants by contacting the County Parks Office at 651-674-2345. Check out the links to each of the Trail Heads below for specific information, including features available on the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail.
Chisago County was the destination and new world home for many of the Swedes who immigrated to Minnesota in the 1800's and early 1900's. Vilhelm Moberg even used this area as the setting for his famous "Emigrant Novels." Swedish American cultural heritage is alive and well here, as evidenced in community festivals, historic buildings, and businesses.
- Connect our communities
- Provide safer places to walk, bike and skate
- Improve our health and fitness
- Increase recreational opportunities
- Help preserve the environment
- Increase business to local retailers
- Provide for non-motorized transportation
This trail when complete will connect Wyoming to Taylors Falls via Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City and Shafer, utilizing an abandoned railway corridor that parallels Highway 8.
The Chisago County Parks and Trails Foundation is spearheading the trail effort, in partnership with the supporting Cities and the Chisago County Park Board. The foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission to further the establishment, development, and enhancement of parks and trails within Chisago County and to encourage their wise use and protection.