The Orono Parks Commission received an update on the Diamond Lake Regional Trail project during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 1.
Three Rivers Park District representatives attended the Parks Commission meeting virtually to discuss the trail. The Diamond Lake project has been in the works for over a year and the project is led by the Three Rivers Park District. The future development of a new north-south regional trail through the western portion of Hennepin County will travel 20 miles through Dayton, Rogers, Corcoran, Medina, Long Lake, Orono and Wayzata.
The trail is expected to be a 10-foot-wide paved and multi-use trail that will connect natural areas, other regional trails in the Three Rivers system, along with local parks and trails for walking, biking, hiking, dog walking, running and in-line skating.
The project was introduced in December 2019 and is currently at the stage where the district is seeking a recommended preferred route from parks commissions. The next step is to get the preferred route approved by city councils and eventually bring it to the Metropolitan Council and the District for review and approval. The Three Rivers Park District is expecting review and approval by August or September.
Locally, the park district’s recommended route would follow Berry Ave to Wayzata Blvd, then head north up Ferndale Ave, and west on Luce Line State Trail to Old Long Lake Road. Their idea is to then follow Old Long Lake Road through the Woodrail Scientific and Natural Area and head north, where they want to connect the trail to the park along Long Lake to utilize the new trail located on the east side of Long Lake.
Comments from the community were encouraged by the park district and they created an interactive map as a platform for feedback, comments and suggestions. Community members and the park district have raised concerns for crossing County Road 6. The park district is still considering options but is looking at constructing an underpass or grade separated crossing.
“We feel it’s really important to have a local connection,” Three River Parks District staff said and added they would like to add a connection to the Highway 112 trail as it heads into Long Lake.
Once the plan is completed, it is eligible for funding. Three Rivers staff said the trail could take anywhere between 10 to 20 years to finish the 20-miles that run through seven cities. In terms of construction, the trail will be worked on in segments. No action on the plan has been taken.