4/4/2013 10:45:00 AM CV Trail expected to open this week
by Sue Sullivan
The Cannon Valley Trail is expected to be fully open this week, pending completion of snow and ice removal (to be announced on the Trail's website).
Visitors age 18 and older must have a wheel pass from April 1 through November 1 to use the trail on bicycles, in-line skates, skate boards or similar wheeled recreational devices. The trail is free for pedestrians and those under 18 to use.
Season Wheel passes may be purchased by contacting Cannon Valley Trail, 825 Cannon River Ave., Cannon Falls, MN 55009, or by downloading a form at www.cannonvalleytrail.com.
Daily passes are available for $4 from several local merchants, trailside pay stations and the Trail Office. Trail pass vendors include the CF Chamber of Commerce, Cannon Falls Campground, Cannon River Winery, Hjermstad Hardware, Saratoga Inn, EconoFoods, Cannon Falls Canoe-Kayak-Bike Rental, and Quill and Quilt Bed and Breakfast in Cannon Falls.
New Trail tee-shirt designs for 2013 are available at Welch Station Access for $18, sizes small through X-large, and $20 for XX-large.
Approximately $110,000 was collected in Wheel Pass revenue in 2012, with an estimated 90,000 people using the Trail.
Late last year at a Goodhue County Commissioner's meeting, a decision to acquire a land addition to the state trail system was sealed.
Part of the trail development planned for the new land is the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Lake Byllesby Dam (on the Cannon River). That will enable the Sakatah Singing Hill State Trail in Faribault and sections of city owned trails in Northfield to connect to the Cannon Valley Trail.
The 2012 summer flooding closed the entire Cannon Valley Trail from June 15 until June 22. The Trail from Welch to Cannon Falls was re-opened on June 22. From Welch to Red Wing the trail was closed for seven weeks.
As of the end of October, 2012, all damage from the summer floods had been completed, totaling $94,000, and FEMA reimbursements, previously applied for, had not been received.
Rental fees for an excavator, typically over $10,000, have given rise to the need to purchase one for the Cannon Valley Trail. Natural erosion along with flood events since the Trail was established in 1986 have caused sediment to lodge in ditches, blocking runoff and resulting in more damage during heavy rains and floods. The need to either hire to have it removed or to rent equipment to be operated by Trail personnel is costly. A Federal Recreational Trail grant request was submitted and it is hoped that a decision for the $19,373 of the $25,830 total cost, will be made by June.