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Lake Vermilion Trail Plan
In January 2011, the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) and the Lake Vermilion Resort Association commenced an eight-month planning process for the future development of the Lake Vermilion Trail, a trail facility connecting the lake and its residences and businesses to the communities of Cook and Tower. The process was facilitated by ARDC and relied on a planning committee for feedback and guidance.

ARDC worked with a local steering committee to form a project vision and to identify overall trail purpose, intended allowable uses, and desired connections. Committee members also had the opportunity to review and comment on maps of the potential trail alignments, trail construction costs estimates, and possibly a trail logo and signage scheme. The planning process ran from January 2011 through February 2012.

In early 2013, the Lake Vermilion Resort Association (LVRA) and ARDC initiated a feasibility study for two western segments of the proposed Lake Vermilion Trail as the next step in the trail development planning process. Funding for the trail location study was made possible in part by grants from the Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

From April to October 2013, SRF Consulting Group. Inc. worked with ARDC and the local Steering Committee to conduct a trail location study that would determine the scope of preliminary engineering for a first segment of trail. The goals of the study were to determine and document optimal and alternative routes for the proposed Lake Vermilion Trail between the City of Cook, Lake Vermilion to the north and Wakemup Campground to the east. SRF worked in collaboration with the Steering Committee and the University of Minnesota’s Geographical Sciences Information Laboratory to evaluate the most optimal and alternative routes for this section of trail. Each trail segment was divided into smaller subsegments and arranged according to geographic features and roadway characteristics. Each subsegment was analyzed using a combination of field inspection, aerial image and map analysis using current geographic information system data provided by St. Louis County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Throughout the process, feedback from local Steering Committee members played a central role in properly assessing the assets, challenges, and type of use each segment of trail would likely receive (i.e., recreational use vs. commuters by bicycle).

With the completed trail study completed, the local Steering Committee will now work to take the plan to the next level, which will first require building a larger base of support for the project among local city, township, and county government and other stakeholders in the proposed project. For more information on Lake Vermilion Trail Implementation, visit


The Lake Vermilion Trail Plan
: September 2011 - Outlines the implementation steps for the development and promotion of the Lake Vermilion Trail.

The Lake Vermilion Location Study: October 2013 - Outlines the scope of preliminary engineering for a first segment of the Lake Vermilion Trail

Informational Flyer Calling for Local Committee Members - 2011.

January 11th, 2011 News Release on the Launch of the Project

Map of the General Trail Corridor - A map included in the 2011 Lake Vermilion Trail Plan (PDF Download)

Map of the General Trail Corridor - A map included in the 2011 Lake Vermilion Trail Plan (JPEG Download)

Meeting summaries for meetings regarding the Lake Vermilion Trail Plan can be accessed below:

Meeting #1 Summary - February 9, 2011

Meeting #2 Summary - March 16, 2011

Meeting #3 Summary - April 13, 2011

Meeting #4 Summary - June 22, 2011

Meeting #5 Summary - September 28, 2011

Meeting #6 Summary - February 15, 2012

For More Information
For more information on the Lake Vermilion Trail Plan, please contact:

Russell Habermann
Associate Planner
221 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: 218-529-7552 (direct)
Toll-free: 1-800-232-0707 ext. 552.
Fax: 218-529-7592


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