P.O. Box 429
Mt. Lake, MN 56159
Four new rustic trails in Mt. Lake were established in early August, but there’s little chance any of them will remain. Recently, the rustic trails came under discussion when Jason Kruser, who hunts on the west end of the lake, addressed the council.
Kruser was concerned about the safety of people using these trails during the fall hunting season. “The rustic paths reduce the ability of hunters to hunt safely on land that is open for hunting,” Kruser said. “More warning signs should be placed along the trail and the council should consider closing a portion of the trail during mid-November deer hunting slug season.” Hunters were also concerned that mowing the newly-designated trails would disturb wildlife habitat.
The trails are on city, private and DNR property. “The DNR gave permission to mow, but it was implied that if there were any issues with the rustic trails, everything would revert back to the original agreement,” said Mayor Mike Nelson. Randy Markl, DNR, Windom Area Wildlife Manager,
Public can help keep the trails in existence
reviewed the restrictions on the property in question. The public has the right to hunt on the property and any trail placed on the property must be approved by the DNR under the 2002 land exchange agreement between the state of Minnesota and the city of Mt. Lake. According to the agreement, “. . . any constructed or permitted surface trail on the property is subject to the expressed written consent of the Grantor.”
The agreement also states: “This conveyance of the described real property to the City of Mt. Lake is made on the assumption that the property will be used for public purposes. Said tract contains a significant natural area with wetland landscape settings. In its present state, it remains relatively undisturbed in a natural condition and has significant and substantial value as a natural, ecological, and aesthetic zone.” To answer some of these concerns, the council decided to stop mowing the trails. The Scenic Overlook Trail, however, will still have a marker and a designation on the map. “The public can still use the rustic trails even though they’re not being mowed,” said Nelson. “With use, the growth will flatten down and make where the trails are obvious. Otherwise, with the exception of the Scenic Overlook Trail, no one will know where they are.” People on any of the trails during hunting season should use caution.
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