The cities of Hutchinson and Winsted, along with McLeod County, are seeking legislation to be included in the State Bonding Bill for the appropriation of funds to pave the Luce Line State Trail from Winsted to Cedar Mills.

This request is for $2.5 million to pave the 25-mile stretch of the Luce Line State Trail that connects the cities of Cedar Mills, Hutchinson, Silver Lake, and Winsted. The trail currently consists of crushed gravel, and, with minimal additional effort, could be paved with bituminous. This would provide a superior surface for mixed uses such as biking, rollerblading, walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. This, in turn, will make the Luce Line State Trail more attractive, accessible, and safer for a greater number of users. The trail will also be complemented by a parallel horse trail that will allow additional trail usage.

Currently, the cities of Hutchinson and Winsted have local trail plans, and Silver Lake is working on one for its city. A paved trail between these cities would provide a “backbone” connection to these local trail systems. Under Department of Natural Resources (DNR) control since 1976, the DNR’s Luce Line Master Plan of 1998 has identified a large portion of this section of trail for paving to accommodate local needs. The plan will also provide area residents and visitors with a safe means for multiple-use recreation that is compatible with the environment.