Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frazee Working to Become a Trail Town

Frazee trail meeting
During the trails meeting last week at the Frazee Event Center, Frazee City Clerk Jonathan Smith conversed with two River Keepers personnel. Jay Leitch, center, is a consultant, while Bob Backman is the executive director. Photo by John W. Dermody
based on a news release of Frazee Forum

Mayor Ludtke of Frazee, Minnesota stated, "We would like to eventually see a North Country Trail Association chapter established that would involve linking from Frazee to Pelican Rapids."

This comment was made at a January 14 trail planning meeting in Frazee. There is a growing effort to bring trails and canoe routes through the small community. These plans include the North Country Trail, the Heartland Trail Extension and a proposed Otter Tail Canoe Route.

Robert Backman, executive director of the River Keepers, noted that his group is a non-profit that "works with the Red River and the basin . . . everything that drains into the Red River." The Red River forms the boundary between Minnesota and North Dakota. That includes the Otter Tail River and numerous tributaries. And while canoeing in such streams may not be referred to normally as using a "trail," it is tied to the other two trails - the North Country and the Heartland - in the big picture. The Laurentian Lakes Chapter of the NCTA is working as a part of this planning group.

River Keepers guiding precept is "Promoting a renewed vision of the Red River of the North." Ludtke added, "One of our big activities is a water festival. We bring in Fargo-Moorhead and Wahpeton-Breckenridge 4th grade students . . . that's the time they study units concerning water." The F-M contingent has swelled to 1,600, he pointed out. Of course the North Country Trail is always looking for younger hikers to discover the trail. The canoe route starts at Rochert, he said, noting that the Tamarac portion is closed. The winding route eventually travels through Frazee, the Pine lakes, and intersects at Breckenridge after a total of almost 200 miles. Backman added: "People have been using the Otter Tail River for 150 years; this formalizes the plan. Use of the river will grow."

Vergas, Frazee and Pelican Rapids and/or Detroit Lakes are towns along the proposed NCT route in western Minnesota. It looks like Frazee is taking the initiative to become a trail town and cement a relationship with the North Country.

See River Keepers
Laurentian Lakes Chapter

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