Loop trail

Stillwater will clear snow on the Wisconsin side of the loop trail this winter. 

The Stillwater City Council agreed, in a 5-0 vote, that Stillwater staff will plow the Wisconsin side of the loop trail after snow events.

Pedestrians and cyclists still use the trail for recreation even when it’s frigid out. Since the 4.7 loop trail opened years ago, the Wisconsin side has remained unplowed in the winter — while Stillwater has cleared its side.

Mayor Ted Kozlowski said he was excited to see this item on the agenda.

“It’s amazing how you get excited for things when you get older,” mayor Ted Kozlowski said “It’s like Christmas for me.”

St. Croix County Staff reached the Stillwater to and ask if would be interested clearing snow on the Wisconsin side of the loop trail, Public Works Director Shawn Sanders said in a memo to councilors. Stillwater Staff put together a proposal and conditions for clearing the additional 2.3 miles of trail and through discussion with St. Croix County a joint powers agreement was prepared.

The conditions of the agreement include a $200 payment to Stillwater for each time the trail is cleared, bare pavement is not required, Sanders explained.

No salt will be used on the trail (including Houlton Hill), and it is the last priority of snow clearing for Stillwater. The terms of the agreement are for one year.

Kozlowski asked what the snow removal will look like on going to look on the Wisconsin side of the trail on Houlton Hill right after entering Wisconsin after crossing the lift bridge, where the trail is wider for pedestrians and bicyclist.

For that section the city will only clear the south side of the trails, which is marked as the bike portion of the trail, Sanders responded.

There wasn’t much discussion and the council quickly approved the item.

“A motion and a second on the coolest thing ever,” Kozlowski said. “The whole trail is going to be open — for the first time since we opened this thing — all year long.”

About the loop trail

The Loop Trail is a 4.7-mile pedestrian and bicycling trail on the Wisconsin and Minnesota side of the St. Croix River, connected by the Historic Lift Bridge and the St. Croix River Crossing Bridge. The trail crosses multiple jurisdictions including Stillwater, Oak Park Heights in Minnesota and St. Joseph Township and Houlton in Wisconsin.

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