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Guthrie to Walker segment of Paul Bunyan trail opens Saturday

Construction of the Guthrie to Walker segment of the Paul Bunyan State Trail is complete and will open on Saturday, according to officials of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division.

This 16.5-mile segment links the two communities with 28 miles of pavement and provides a rest area in Guthrie. The 11.5-mile segment from Bemidji to Guthrie was completed last year. Construction was primarily on the old Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad grade.

"The completion of this part of the trail has been a long time coming but is a tremendous accomplishment," said Dave Schotzko, Parks and Trails area supervisor.

The DNR acquired various parcels for these trail segments from the railroad between in 1992 and 2000. Bridges over TH 371, three waterways, Washington Avenue and the Highway 2 Bypass were constructed in anticipation of these paving projects.

Yet to come: future trail and bridge construction in the southern part of Bemidji and Brainerd. This will complete the state trail for approximately 116 miles from Lake Bemidji State Park to Crow Wing State Park.