The Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail is slated to be open in time for the Labor Day weekend for bikers, walkers and runners to take advantage of after a summer’s worth of improvements.

Sakatah Lake State Park Manager Dennis Reindl says the contractor is in the final stages of the rehab between Madison Lake and Elysian.

“They’re doing some seeding this week on the shoulders of the trail and they need to paint signage on the trail and a few other things of that nature. It should be ready to open next Friday, the 31st of August.”

The paved trail has already seen improvements over the past six years, as the Mankato section of the trail was rehabbed last year and the section of trail from Waterville to Faribault underwent improvements in 2012.

“It’s a great asset to the local area. It’s a 39.2-mile trail from Faribault to Mankato. So, it makes connections between two large communities and then several smaller communities in the heart of southern Minnesota’s lake country in between those two cities. It’s great, it’s a mixture of wooded areas, lake views and some agriculture openings. It’s just a nice mix of what southern Minnesota has to offer.”

The last section of the trail that still needs to be improved is the stretch from Waterville to Elysian.

“That is a high priority for the Division of Parks and Trials. The funding isn’t allocated to that project at this point. So that would be the next step. Then we would have the entire alignment would be rehabilitated, wider, going from eight-foot to ten-foot in these rehabilitated sections. A nice smooth pavement that’s better for inline skating, it’s better for people on road bikes. It’ll be an overall just a much nicer visitor experience.”

The trail begins at Lime Valley Road near State Highway 14, joins the Minnesota River Trail in Mankato, follows a signed route on city streets through Waterville, passes through three miles of Sakatah Lake State Park, and ends east of Interstate 35 in Faribault.

Photo courtesy of the MN DNR.