The James L. Oberstar State Trail is a segment of the Willard Munger Trail system authorized in Minnesota Statutes, 85.015 Subd. 14. The Oberstar trail segment "shall originate in Chisago County and extend into Hinckley in Pine County." Other segments of the Willard Munger Trail system include the Willard Munger State Trail and the Gateway State Trail. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for planning, developing, and managing state trails. The Minnesota DNR completed the Master Plan for the Oberstar segment of the trail in August 2017.
Within the Master Plan Executive Summary, it is noted that the Minnesota State Parks and Trails System Plan designates the Oberstar State Trail as a Core: division-led state trail. Trails in the Core: division-led investment group will be well maintained, provide basic services, and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all who use the trail. The division will seek partners, or outside funding, to maintain the trail and to provide additional amenities or services for trail users.
Pine County is one of the DNR's partners in this project and is actively seeking funding to build the trail in segments. To raise awareness, Pine County hosted two trail events on National Trails Day in 2017 and 2018.
Pine County has had success recently in receiving funds to build segments of the trail as follows:
-2020 State Bonding Funds for a 1.9-mile segment of the trail to be constructed from Cross Lake Preserve in Pine City to the Snake River Bridge on the east side of Cross Lake
-FY2024 Transportation Alternatives Grant for a 2.85-mile segment of the trail from the Pine City High School to the Rock Creek City Center.
Construction on these segments will start in 2023 and 2024.
Do you have questions or want to be involved? Contact Kelly Schroeder, 320-591-1668 or Kelly.Schroeder@co.pine.mn.us to be added to our citizen team.2018 Trail Event
2017 Trail Event