Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Grant to help fund ancient cedar woods hiking trail

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 3/25/20

TOWER— A long-sought trail through an extensive grove of old growth upland white cedar located here has received partial funding thanks to Lake Country Power’s Operation Round-Up. The …

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Grant to help fund ancient cedar woods hiking trail

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TOWER— A long-sought trail through an extensive grove of old growth upland white cedar located here has received partial funding thanks to Lake Country Power’s Operation Round-Up. The Tower Economic Development Authority and the Howard Wagoner Trails Club coordinated their funding request for $2,000 last month. The Operation Round-Up board announced March 13 that they would fund the request in full.
TEDA and the trails club will be applying for funds from another potential source in the coming days in hopes of beginning construction on what will be known as the Ancient Cedar Forest Trail, this summer. Most of the funds will go to pay for construction of about 400 feet of boardwalk through an area of wetland at the start of the trail. Virtually all of the remainder of the 1.5- mile trail will be located on dry ground and will weave through an extensive area of white cedar dating back to approximately 1880. The trail will also extend to a high rock ridge on the south edge of Tower, which provides scenic views of the city of Tower as well as Lake Vermilion and the surrounding forest.
The trail will be easily accessible from just off the Mesabi Trail, and will provide an exceptional deep woods hiking experience for both visitors and local residents. Requested funds will also pay for directional and interpretive signage at the trailhead and along the route.
“We’re extremely thankful for the donation from Lake Country Power and Operation Round-Up,” said Mary Shedd, president of the trails club. “We’ll be combining these funds with other donations as well as volunteer labor and other in-kind contributions to create a trail that highlights this unique forest area.”
Students from the Vermilion Country School are expected to be partners in the trail construction effort as part of their environmental education and community service curriculum.

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