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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 conduct a trail location study which 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, 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 questions or more information regarding the Lake Vermilion Trail Plan and Trail Location Study, please contact:

Bonnie Hundrieser, ARDC Senior Planner
(218) 529-7527/

The Lake Vermilion Trail Plan
September 2011 - outlines the implementation steps for the development and promotion of the Lake Vermilion Trail. (pdf download)



Lake Vermilion Trail Plan Background
Visual Representation of Surrounding Text

In January, 2011 the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) and the Lake Vermilion Resort Association will commence 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 will be facilitated by ARDC and will rely on a planning committee for feedback and guidance.

ARDC will work with the local steering committee to form a project vision, identify overall trail purpose, intended allowable uses, and desired connections. Committee members will also have 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 is expected to run from January through August of 2011. The first committee meeting will be scheduled for early February, 2011.

Click HERE for an informational flyer calling for local committee members.

Click HERE for a January 11th, 2011 news release on the launch of the project.

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

Ellen Pillsbury, Senior Planner
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission
Phone: (218) 529-7554 / Email:

Steering Committee Meetings

To view meeting summaries, click below:

Meeting #1 Summary

Meeting #2 Summary

Meeting #3 Summary

Meeting #4 Summary

Meeting #5 Summary

Next Meeting:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 2:00pm-4:00pm
US Forest Service La Croix Ranger Station -Cook, MN
Meeting Agenda

Local organizations, groups or interested individuals who would like to participate in the planning process are encouraged to contact Ellen Pillbury, ARDC Senior Planner: (218) 529-7554 or


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Northeast Minnesota Economic Development District

Go Cook County

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Balkan Community Plan

Barnum Zoning Ordinance Update

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HelmetHero - Bicycle Education

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Lake County Trails Comprehensive Plan

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Waters of the Dancing Sky Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan

Wrenshall Safe Routes to School

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Carlton Area Recreation Map

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