The site of the former Deja Blues Diner in Spirit Lake became available after the building was sold and hauled away. DCTB was fortunate to receive a grant for purchasing the property and is now in the process of looking at a design for the trailhead. The parking lot will stay in place and a shelter area will be added that includes restrooms, drinking fountains and work stations for bicycle maintenance.
With two major lines of trail intersecting at this location the site is ideal for a trailhead that includes additional amenities. The Spine Trail runs north and south through the county and connects here to the rail trail that will span the county going east and west. The DCTB looks forward to providing a distinctive addition to the trail system that will offer essential facilities as well as beautifying the area.
DCTB has ambitious plans for trail development over the next couple of years. This expansion is possible though careful planning by the trails board and extensive work in applying for grant funds. In the last two years, DCTB has been awarded nearly $2 million in grants from the State and Federal Recreational Trails programs along with funding from the Okoboji Foundation, Wellmark Foundation and the Iowa DNR REAP program. We also have incredible support from local and seasonal residents through donations and private foundation grants. Approximately 90% of trails funding comes from out of county sources that enable us to continue development and maintenance of the system. The DCTB appreciates the opportunity to expand and improve outdoor recreational experiences throughout the Iowa Great Lakes in the years ahead.
TRAIL USE DURING CORONAVIRUS
This weather this spring has been much more favorable for getting out and enjoying the trails and the warmer temperatures are appreciated during this difficult time of dealing with the coronavirus. We continue urging the community to practice safe, responsible trail use and self-care at all times. Exercising
independently or in very small numbers is being encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and trail managers across the country.
Trails are increasingly being counted on as places where people can continue to be physically active and find respite. In comparison to March of 2019, we have seen trail use increase an average of 300% on our system in March of 2020. Please help keep trails safe for everyone by practicing physical distancing with at least 6 feet of space between you and other trail users and do not gather in groups. Stay close to home, be prepared and carry water, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes as facilities and water fountains may be off limits. Above all, follow the latest public health guidance from the CDC and restrictions of local governments and health officials.
As always, Happy Trails to You and Yours.
Erin Reed, DCTB Executive Director