Hop on a bike, lace up your rollerblades or simply tie your shoes and hit the trails.

Now is the perfect time to explore the trails around you including the Dickinson County Trails system that features 32 miles of paved, off-road trails.

The trails travel all the way from north of Spirit Lake to south of Lower Gar and all the way west to Terril, IA. There are also all kinds of views to enjoy.

“The spine of the system is a 14-mile, 10-foot wide, hard-surface trail that accommodates two-way recreational traffic. Connecting to the spine trail are several other shorter trails to explore including the Kenue Park Trail, Arnolds Park City Trail and the Spirit Lake City Trail. The trail loops around the east and west sides of Big Spirit Lake where it joins the Loon Lake Trail (Jackson County, MN) at the Mini-Wakan State Park,” according to the Dickinson County Trails website.

There are some well traveled paths to enjoy around the lakes.

“It’s always beautiful to ride round the lakes, of course, there are some beautiful view on the trails,” said Erin Reed, the executive director of the Dickinson County Trails Board. “One particular area that I enjoy is from the Pearson Lakes Art Center up to the Nature Center area and over by Kenue Park. There are sculptures to check out along that way and beautiful prairie and wetland.”

Other parts of the trail that Reed really enjoys are the Henderson woods, the bridge through Lower Gar and Minnewashta and the dam road to the Minnewashta boat launch site.

One great starting point is by the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery.

“There are four different directions that you can take from that spot on the trails system, so that’s a nice area to explore,” Reed said.

While social distancing guidelines are still in place, Reed reminds to keep those guidelines in mind.

“We are encouraging everybody to maintain the physical distancing guidelines from the CDC as well as only come out in small family groups,” Reed said. “It’s so nice to be able to go out and enjoy the trails right now.”

And the people are definitely using the trails right now.

“We have trail counters at various locations and we went out at the end of March and compared the 2019 numbers with the numbers this year and we are up 300 percent on average and one spot was up almost 500 percent,” Reed said.

While these times are challenging, Reed said that she hope people are using this time to enjoy some time in the great outdoors.

“The trails are a great way to reconnect with nature. I hope that there are a lot of new people discovering how wonderful it is to go out on the trail,” Reed said. “Being outside and getting exercise is good for the mind, body and soul.”




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