Several new trail benches are being placed around the trails system this fall. Four benches were set in early September and another six will be installed in the next couple weeks. Every bench has a special story so DCTB will be featuring them through Trails Talk to celebrate and share the stories of families and friends that are being honored through a bench donation.
In Honor of Service: Stan and Colleen Lemkuil have lived in the Landings at the West Okoboji Harbor for nearly twenty years. They both enjoy using the Iowa Great Lakes trails so Colleen chose to place a bench…..
DCTB has had another busy season installing new benches along a number of trailsegments 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…..
TIKI RIDE A BIG SUCCESS
The Sportsman’s 6th Annual Tiki Ride had its biggest event yet on August 1 as it brought in several hundred riders and a $3,500 donation to Dickinson County Trails. The ride grows bigger and better every year and with matching grant funds the proceeds will garner over $14,000 for trail development. DCTB thanks Sportsman’s, their staff and the many volunteers that work so hard to make this fun event happen….
TAKING CARE OF THE TRAILS
The Dickinson County Conservation Board (DCCB) maintenance crew, along with their other duties managing the county’s parks and natural areas, provides general maintenance throughout our trails system. This work includes tree trimming, weed control, trail sweeping, power washing, mowing the trail shoulders and maintaining trailheads. They also manage sign replacements and minor surface repairs.
Brian Cuperus, DCCB Maintenance Foreman, together with Trails Manager Clay Pavelko, handle coordinating all of the various jobs that are necessary each week and as the system expands so does the workload. A major component of what they do during the summer…..
2020 DCTB SUMMER FUNDRAISER
The DCTB planned to host another fun evening of celebrating and fundraising for our trails in July but unfortunately, due to coronavirus concerns, we decided it is best to forego a large gathering at this time. In lieu of an in person event, we are holding a virtual summer fundraiser that coincides with the Okoboji Foundation’s $5,000 July Nonprofit Challenge. We will continue to receive sponsorships and donations like past fundraisers with the hope of having a Bikes – Brews – Bikes Thank You Party…..
TRAIL MAINTENANCE WORK CONTINUES
Maintenance continues on several segments of the trail system in Okoboji, Spirit Lake and Orleans. In mid-May, new asphalt overlays were completed on the Nature Center Trail and the Spine Trail by Kiwanis Park. The asphalt crew will return at the beginning of June to continue paving the Spine Trail from 15th Street to Hill Avenue in Spirit Lake and along the east side of Big Spirit Lake in Orleans. In addition, over the next few weeks a concrete crew will be working on several ADA and ramp improvements where overlays have taken place…..
DCTB MAKES PLANS FOR TATONKA SKA TRAILHEAD
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…..
DCTB 2020 TRAIL DEVELOPMENT PLANS
The Dickinson County Trails Board has substantial plans to expand trail development this coming season. Through a number of foundation, state and federal grants along with donations to the DCTB development fund, the board is working on goals to add nearly 8 miles of new trail this year. A key project identified for development in 2020 is the rail trail Tatonka Ska Trace that will be extended another four miles to connect it with Highway 86 and the north tunnel at the West Okoboji Harbor. We also have the opportunity to replace street routes by filling in several gaps around West Lake Okoboji with off-road paved trails. Other projects include a bicycle bypass around East Okoboji Slough…..
GRANT SECURED FOR SPINE TRAIL MAINTENANCE
In January, DCTB was awarded a Federal Recreational Trails grant for a significant maintenance project on the Spine Trail. The grant for $313,300 will provide for a 2-inch asphalt overlay of the trail starting at 15th Street in Spirit Lake and going north to 125th Street in Orleans for a total of 2.75 miles. The project will be a major improvement to areas of the Spine Trail that are reaching 20 years old. DCTB is pleased to have the opportunity to provide a new surface to the trail with the project scheduled to be completed in 2020…..
2020 TRAIL PLANNING
At the end of each year, DCTB goes through strategic planning that involves consideration of trail development and maintenance priorities. The process also includes going through what grants the board will apply to which projects. DCTB will be taking on several projects next year that comprise of a substantial extension of the rail trail Tatonka Ska Trace and filling in a number of gaps throughout the Iowa Great Lakes Trails system. Other significant plans include new surface overlays for over 4 miles of the Nature Center and Spine Trails along with several…..
COUPLE TREKS THE IOWA GREAT LAKES TRAILS EACH YEAR
Every year Bob and Delna Mulhair spend their time here at the Great Lakes walking two miles a day as they journey every trail in the area throughout the season. This includes road shoulder trails around Big Spirit Lake along with non-trail areas like Francis Sites and sidewalks along Hill Avenue. It takes them four months to accomplish this feat all while enjoying one mile of beautiful scenery each day. Bob and Delna say that they park their car and set out for a one-mile walk then turn around and head back to the car. At the turnaround is where they park the following day and…..
IOWA GREAT LAKES BIKE RIDES SUPPORT TRAILS
There are many great bike rides and trail events every year in the Iowa Great Lakes and a number of them support the Dickinson County Trails. These events take a lot of effort on the part of the organizations that put them on. We appreciate their hard work and commitment to bringing bicycle and trail enthusiasts to the area. In 2019, the contributing rides brought in over $9,000 in donations to DCTB and with the addition of matching grants the rides will provide $36,300 in total for trail projects…..
BIKES – BREWS – BITES FUNDRAISER
The 2019 trails fundraiser was a big success thanks to everyone that supported and sponsored the event! Congratulations to Bill West for winning the raffle of an E-bike donated by Okoboji Expedition Company. Matching funds were raised for the construction of two new trail segments this fall. We extend our gratitude to the following businesses that helped make the evening possible, Okoboji Brewing Company, Farm to Fork, Buffalo Trace, Okoboji Wines and Okoboji Expedition Company. A special thank you to Iowa Great Lakes Rotary……
MEMORIAL TRAIL BENCHES
Seven new trail benches were placed earlier this summer and there are couple more on order to be installed later this year. DCTB also continues to replace old wood benches that are beyond repair due to maintenance and safety concerns. The bench program is a fundraiser for the trails and offers an opportunity for trail users to remember family and friends along with providing the trail with rest areas. Now is the time to let us know if you are interested in replacing or getting a new bench this year to honor someone in your life. To get more information…..
The Okoboji Foundation is inviting everyone to participate in the $5,000 July Nonprofit Challenge at GiveOkoboji.com. The fund with the highest giving total over $5,000 in July receives an additional $5,000 from the Okoboji Foundation. Please consider giving to the Dickinson County Trails Endowment Fund during July to help the trails win. This year, all donations $500 and over will qualify for a “Bikes – Brews – Bites”…..
DCTB received two grant awards in May for trail development in the Iowa Great Lakes. The first is a Wellmark Large MATCH Grant in the amount of $100,000 for construction of the Jones Pasture Trail that will be completed this summer. The Wellmark Foundation offers these grant opportunities to communities in Iowa and South Dakota for projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health though built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity……
2019 DICKINSON COUNTY TRAILS FUNDRAISER
You will not want to miss this year’s Dickinson County Trails benefit. The Bikes, Brews & Bites celebration will be Saturday, July 27 at the Okoboji Brewing Company. We are working with the brewery to create a great new outdoor event space and there will be a variety of brews along with bourbon tasting and wine. Farm to Fork is providing a fantastic menu with live music…..
2019 DICKINSON COUNTY TRAIL PROJECTS
DCTB has two new trail segments planned for this summer. First is the Jones Pasture Trail that will extend the Spine Trail one mile north along the east side of Big Spirit Lake. This project has been a development priority for several years and DCTB has now secured $250,000 from the Region 3 Transportation Alternatives Program. The grant provides the additional funding…..
GRANT SECURED FOR SPINE TRAIL MAINTENANCE
In January, DCTB was awarded a Federal Recreational Trails grant for a significant maintenance project on the Spine Trail. The grant for $313,300 will provide for a 2-inch asphalt overlay of the trail starting at 15th Street in Spirit Lake and going north to 125th Street in Orleans for a total of 2.75 miles. The project will be a major improvement to areas of the Spine Trail…..
MILFORD BOY SCOUT BUILDS TRAIL KIOSKS FOR EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT
Nathan Kollasch with Milford Boy Scout Troop #170 spent Saturday November 10 installing two new trail kiosks at Kenue Park and the Nature Trails trailhead. The project is part of the work he is doing to earn his Eagle Scout Rank. Several other scouts from the Milford troop also helped Nathan get the kiosks placed. Nathan picked the new design and built the kiosks…….
DCTB SEEKS GRANT FUNDING FOR TRAIL PROJECTS
Dickinson County Trails Board submitted two grants in October through Iowa’s 2018 Federal Recreational Trails Program. One grant was for the rail trail, Tatonka Ska Trace, from Hudson Avenue in Spirit Lake and continuing west for another mile to 219th Street. In 2019, DCTB will be constructing a mile of this trail from Hy-Vee to Hudson Avenue and this year’s grant request will be a continuation from that segment……
HIGHWAY 71 PLAC TRAIL RIBBON CUTTING
Dickinson County Trails Board celebrated the opening of the area’s newest trail segment on September 5th. The Highway 71 PLAC Trail
involved removal and replacement of the existing trail pavement from Pearson Lakes Art Center (PLAC) to the trailhead along Highway 71. A new trail segment was added from the trailhead north to 41st Street. This project was made possible by a generous donation to our Dickinson County Trails Board Endowment Fund…….
SPORTSMAN’S ANNUAL TIKI BICYCLE RIDE
The fourth annual Tiki ride on August 4 was a big success bringing in $1,800 that will garner over $7,000 with matching grant funds for DCTB. Funds raised will be used to support the Dickinson County Trails Board in planning and development of priority projects. Thank you to Sportsman’s Pub for all of the work they do putting on this entertaining ride and for the donation to the trails!…..
The 2018 trails fundraiser was a huge success! Funds raised will be used to support the
Dickinson County Trails Board in planning and development of priority projects. These projects include the Highway 71 PLAC Trail, Jones Pasture Trail, East Lake Trail and connecting Tatonka Ska Trace (rail trail) to the West Okoboji Trail at the north tunnel in Okoboji Harbor.
A huge thank you goes out to the fundraiser committee members that include Kathy Stuart, Sandi Wilmot, Karen German, Jan Stauss, Sheryl Jones, Mickey Harrington, Brigid Wilkening, Jeanne Sieh, Paula Henry and Kathy Beachem……
NEW BIKE LANES ON 190TH STREET
A joint project with the city of Arnolds Park, Dickinson County Secondary Roads and Dickinson County Trails resulted in new 8-foot concrete shoulders being paved on each side of 190th Street from Bridges Bay to 242nd Avenue. The project addressed serious safety concerns on a busy road that sees a lot of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. It also completes the first phase in DCTB’s long-term plan to continue trails around the east side of East Lake Okoboji.
PROJECT UPDATES: Work continues on a new trail segment between the Pearson Lakes Art Center (PLAC) and 41st Street along Highway 71. The new trail is scheduled to be complete in mid-July and will be a great addition to the trails system.
Maintenance projects involving trail slope stabilization and pavement replacement with new concrete have wrapped up on the Spine Trail in Milford and Okoboji. The projects have ……..
SPIRIT LAKE 4TH GRADE BRAWL: On the last day of school the Spirit Lake 4th graders had fantastic weather to enjoy the annual BRAWL (Bike Ride Around West Lake). This 9-mile ride is put on every year by Spirit Lake Elementary physical education teacher Tim O’Hagan along with several volunteers that help make the day possible. Mr. O’Hagan stated, “BRAWL allows us a time to actively celebrate our abilities & reflect with our classmates from our elementary school years. I love empowering students with the skills & resources to be active in and out of classroom. The most rewarding part of the summer is seeing students out on the trails or hearing testimonies of trail rides where they have introduced others to this awesome resource we have right in our backyard. We are grateful for all the volunteers………
SAVE THE DATE – You will not want to miss this year’s Dickinson County Trails benefit. The Boots & Boogie Bike Bash II will be Saturday, June 30 at the new Arnolds Park Pavilion. The event will feature live music by Georgia Clay and will benefit local trail projects including the Highway 71 PLAC Trail and signing improvements. For sponsorship opportunities please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org …..
UPDATE ON CURRENT DICKINSON COUNTY TRAIL PROJECTS
Tatonka Ska Trace – Work on the rail trail bridge and culvert renovations will begin again soon. This project ensures that nine significant structures between Spirit Lake and Allendorf are preserved and ready for trail construction. The work on this project will be complete before summer. Federal Recreational….
SPIRIT LAKE J-TERM STUDENT INTERNS WITH DCTB:Karson Rodriguez, a senior at Spirit Lake High School, did his work-study with DCTB during J-Term in January. Karson worked on developing a web page for Tatonka Ska Trace and creating a logo for the developing trail. He plans to attend Iowa State and pursue a degree in business marketing. Karson said he really enjoyed working with the trails because it felt like he was doing something good for the community and making Dickinson County more active. He can’t wait to get out on the trails for a jog this summer……
MILFORD BOY SCOUT WORKS TOWARD EAGLE SCOUT RANK BY HELPING DICKINSON COUNTY TRAILS
Quinn Dodds with Milford Boy Scout Troop #170 spent Saturday November 3 installing E-911 signs along the West Okoboji Trail. The project is part of the work he is doing to earn his Eagle Scout Rank. Several other scouts from the…..
We have had some amazing weather to get out and enjoy the Dickinson County Trails. We continue to see many people out walking and biking while we appreciate the cooler temperatures and fall’s abundant beauty in the Iowa Great Lakes!
TRAIL PROJECTS CONTINUE – New Bridge Near PLAC: A new bridge replaced a…..
FUN FALL TRAIL EVENTS
26TH ANNUAL U of O OKTOBERFEST BIKE RIDE: Saturday, September 30, 2017 – Enjoy this fun 24-mile bike ride around West Lake Okoboji. You will be treated to scenic trails and lakeside roads as you take in the beauty of the Iowa Great Lakes on your bicycle. West O Brewery will greet you with free beer at the end of the ride where they will be serving their special Oktoberfest brew. Throughout and after the ride there will be drink and food deals all around the Lakes area. Visit www.okobojichamber.com to register and see the rest of the Oktoberfest fun happening all weekend. Proceeds from the ride go to Dickinson County Trails…..
RECREATIONAL TRAIL SAFETY & IOWA BIKE LAWS
This month we are focusing on recreational trail and bicycle
safety in addition to being kind to our fellow trail users…..
$5,000 JULY NONPROFIT CHALLENGE
The Okoboji Foundation is inviting everyone to participate in the $5,000 July Nonprofit Challenge at GiveOkoboji.com. The fund with the highest giving total over $5,000 in July receives an additional $5,000 from the Okoboji Foundation. Please consider giving to the Dickinson County Trails Endowment Fund during July to help the trails win. Gifts of any size and form are accepted online or through the Foundation. For additional information contact Okoboji Foundation, call 712-332-7177, visit www.okobojifoundation.org or email email@example.com…..
RAIL TRAIL RALLY
DCTB’s 2017 fundraiser event is coming up this weekend on Saturday, June 24 at the Arnolds Park Pavilion. This year’s event will highlight the Rail Trail and kickoff the effort to raise local matching funds for its construction. Get your Steampunk gear on and come celebrate 37 miles of Rail Trail. There will be music and fabulous food provided by Chef Suzanne Bicknese along with some great auction items. You can find more information on sponsorships and tickets at www.dickinsoncountytrails.com . Tickets are also available at The Three Sons and Okoboji Expedition Company. Thank you for your support!
TREE PLANTING ALONG RAIL TRAIL
The City of Spirit Lake received grants through Black Hills Energy Power of Trees and Alliant Energy Branching Out programs through Trees Forever to plant trees along the section of trail connecting Peoria Avenue to 15th Street. Nearly 30 volunteers from Spirit Lake High School, Dickinson County Conservation, Black Hills Energy, Alliant Energy, Trees Forever, DCTB and City of Spirit Lake worked together to plant 52 trees along the trail segment. Thanks to everyone for their help and Ferguson’s Garden Center for the wonderful stock of trees!
DICKINSON COUNTY TRAILS BOARD TO BEGIN MAINTENANCE PROJECTS
The Dickinson County Trails Board will start its first maintenance project of the season on April 19 with the trail along 175th Street in the area of The Ranch Okoboji mini-golf park. Anyone familiar with this area knows that it has been in rough shape for a few years due to water undermining the trail and sediment collecting at the bottom of the hill.
DICKINSON COUNTY TRAILS BOARD FINALIZES RAILROAD PURCHASE
The Dickinson County Trails Board has finalized the purchase of the remaining railroad right of way from Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. The future Rail Trail begins west of Superior and will traverse 37 miles through both Dickinson and Osceola Counties, then join the Ed Winkel Trail at Allendorf and continue to Sibley for a total of 43 miles.
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT DCTB
I am very excited to introduce myself as the new Dickinson County Trails Board Executive Director following Jean Martin’s retirement. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (712) 330-7776 and through our website www.dickinsoncountytrails.com. I have been a member of the Trails Board for over ten years, serving as president for many of them. My passion for trails began the first day I stepped foot on the Iowa Great Lakes Spine Trail.