September Trails Talk

Trail bench with woman  NEW TRAIL BENCHES PLACED

DCTB has had another busy season installing new benches along a number of trail segments  throughout the system. Four new benches were placed in early September and another five benches will be placed in the next couple weeks.  There are a couple of benches along new trail segments and others are replacing old wood benches that are beyond repair due to maintenance and safety concerns.   The bench program is a fundraiser for the trails and offers the opportunity for people to remember family and friends along with providing the trails with rest areas. If you are interested in replacing or getting a new bench to honor someone in your life, please visit for more information and the Bench
Program form.

All You Need Is Love:  A new bench honoring Sonia Sather’s mother, Bonnie Albertson, was placed on September 10 and she shared her family’s history on Big Spirit Lake.  “My mother grew up in Estherville and her parents had a place on Spirit Lake until 1981. She and I both grew up loving this lake, especially the sunsets. My uncle bought a place about half a mile north of my current lake home back in the late seventies. My grandmother, mother, and two other uncles bought a lake place together just south of his in the mid-80s. For nearly 40 years, we gathered here each summer, enjoying water sports, singing by the campfire and gathering our families all together with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandma. My mother loved hosting family and always had plenty of food for all. We had the fortune of being able to bring her to our lake cabin for her final days on hospice. We often thought of getting a bench memorial after she died in 2017, but at that time, the trail was much further south than our family cabins. I was thrilled when the new trail came north and passed right by my current home as well as my uncles’ homes, not only for me to use the new trail, but also to have a location to put a bench for my mother across from my driveway.  Already I have taken a cup of coffee or in the evenings a glass of wine, just sat on the bench with her and watched the sunset. She is right where she has always wanted to be.”


DCTB’s collaboration with Hope Rolls to raise funds for trail development and provide a custom  tricycle for a local child in need was a big success and raised over $5,100.  Currently, three children in Dickinson County are nominated to receive one of these adaptive tricycles and as we work with additional donors, we hope to ensure each of them is outfitted.

Maria Mellmann with Hope Rolls shares how they got rolling, “We started in May 2019 and were able to raise over $3,000 in 4 days to gift two adaptive tricycles prior to the school year ending. We have had tremendous community support since the day we decided to go. We work with the nominee’s special education teacher, therapists and close friends to make sure that when we gift it, it is both a surprise to the child as well as their immediate family. We are a certified 501(c)3 organization and we want to ensure that every child, of every ability in Dickinson County, has the means to participate in riding ‘bikes’ with their family and friends!”  Please visit Hope Rolls’ Facebook page to find more information on this wonderful organization.


The weathe2020 Oktoberfestr was great for this beautiful ride around West Lake Okoboji and it was a record-breaking event with over 700 registered riders participating on Saturday.  Proceeds from the ride benefit Dickinson County Trails and the DCTB thanks the Iowa Great Lakes Chamber for the work they put into the entire weekend’s festivities.

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