One piece to the maze of Rochester trails - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

One piece to the maze of Rochester trails

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ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- It's what some might call Rochester's hidden gem.  A new trail just recently opened up along Cascade Creek, it's just one piece to the city's master plan with much more work ahead.

On a brisk fall morning, it's no surprise to find Jan Dutelle and Angie Charlson walking.

"We love it."

"It is fabulous."

But today they are some of the first on the newly opened North Trail along Cascade Creek in Northwest Rochester.

Dutelle says, "You're not tucked in the woods with the trees, you're out in the sunshine and you see the sky and it's great."

The trail opened just one month ago spanning from Highway 52 to West Circle Drive and is a part of a greater plan.

Rochester Park and Recreation Assistant Director Dennis Stotz says, "The 2008 trail project that you're seeing is part of the master plan that was done for this lake."

Over the next ten years the city of Rochester hopes to transform the gravel pits along Cascade Creek into Cascade Lake Park. These lakes have been mined since the fifties but in the near future will be formed into one body of water and used for recreational purposes.

The park would include a full trail around the 100 acre lake with picnic areas, a beach and playgrounds.

Mining activities will be complete in about six years giving the city time to complete the southern half of the trail, but like all things this project is budget driven.

Stotz says, "The trails, the beach, all of the park amenities are going to have to compete with every other city project for funding."

While the trail is only a month old, Carol Foley says she uses it about five times a week.

Foley says, "Before I walked in the neighborhood and it was boring, you see all the same houses and this is feeling like you're out in nature."

She and her family live along Manorwoods Lake and while she doesn't want to see that disturbed by the public, thinks the plans for Cascade Lake will give other families in Rochester a chance to experience this somewhat unknown area of the city.

Over the past ten years the City acquired the land needed to develop the park.

The newly added 8,500 foot trail is the only part of the project that will be completed in the foreseeable future, but city officials hope to have the entire project complete in about ten years.

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