February Trails Talk


The trails’ bench program continues to grow and be a popular opportunity to honor loved ones and friends.  The benches provide rest areas along the trails as well as raising funds for development.  If you are interested in replacing or getting a new bench to honor someone in your life, please visit www.dickinsoncountytrails.com/donate for more information and the Bench Program form.

Every bench has a special story so the DCTB will continue to feature them through Trails Talk to celebrate the stories of families and friends that are being honored through a bench donation.

Ban Donslear’s great grandchildren enjoy the family’s new bench.

Honoring Family Legacy

Norm and Ruth Ann Van Donslear have nearly a lifetime’s history in the Iowa Great Lakes.  Ruth Ann chose to honor that legacy by placing a bench on the Spine Trail as a tribute to Norm and their great grandchildren.  Ruth Ann shared how Norm was part of planning the start of the trails system and one our most popular community bike rides, “Norm was on a committee that began the planning for the present day trail system.  He was also a co-founder of the University of Okoboji Cycling Classic and devoted many hours to both projects.  He passed away in 2001. His granddaughter Amanda, along with her husband Jeff Laue and children Chloe, Tristen, Marie, and Lucian now live in Milford and enjoy the trail on a regular basis. We are placing a bench in his memory and in honor of his four great grandchildren. The children picked the spot for the placement of the bench.”  It was a joy being a part of placing this bench and to see a family tradition of enjoying the trails is one that will be long lasting. If you have a trail or bench story you would like to share, please contact Erin Reed at dctrails@dickinsoncountyiowa.gov.

Trees arching over trails


It is common knowledge that trails provide physical health benefits but there are many emotional and mental health benefits of having access to trails and the outdoors as well. Walking reduces levels of anxiety and depression and can, in some cases, be preventative. Now more evidence is showing that being in nature enhances those results. Time spent in a natural setting is calming and reduces our anxiety and stress levels. This leads to physical changes that include reductions in blood pressure and heart rate. Just twenty minutes on the trail or out in nature can positively influence our overall physical and mental health. We do not have to climb mountains or run marathons to enjoy these benefits, a nice walk on our beautiful trails will to the trick!

Polaris Foundation donation to trailsDCTB RECEIVES NEW CROSS COUNTRY SNOWMOBILE

Erin Reed, Dickinson County Trails Board Executive Director and Eric Hoien, cross country trails volunteer, are pictured with the new Polaris Titan XC snowmobile they received with a grant from the Polaris Foundation for grooming trails at the Kettleson Hogsback WMA complex.  Thank you to the Polaris Foundation for their consideration and gift to the Dickinson County Trails.  We are fortunate to have fantastic local support for our trails and we are grateful for the assistance from Polaris Industries in Spirit Lake. Appreciation also goes to our local volunteers, Bob Waters and Eric Hoien, for grooming our beautiful cross country trails at Brooks Golf-Nature Center in Okoboji and Kettleson Hogsback WMA west of Big Spirit Lake.

As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, Executive Director