Monday, April 21, 2014

Biking is a new option at the annual ‘Walk for Glendalough’

The completion of a new paved trail at Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake late last summer means that bikers can now join hikers on the annual fundraiser, “Walk for Glendalough,” at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 26. The event starts at the park’s trail center.

The Glendalough Park Partners, along with Department of Natural Resources, will host the 18th annual “walk” to raise money for new park amenities and features. Over the years, the walk has contributed close to $250,000 in park improvements.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward benches, bike racks, and interpretive kiosks along the new trail, and the construction of an outdoor seating area near the trail center suitable for student activities, interpretive programs and weddings. At least two automated external defibrillators also will be purchased for the park.

Two lakeside yurts -- circular fabric tents -- will be constructed along the new trail this spring that will be accessible by backpacking, biking or canoeing. The yurts will be equipped with bunk beds, similar to the park’s camper cabins.

Funds have been used to provide year-round restrooms at the trail center, restore and furnish the historic lodge, build a picnic shelter and a hiking bridge, add heat and electricity to the camper cabins, purchase rental canoes, construct and fund a bird-feeding station and plant trees and native prairie flowers.

“Many of the amenities that park visitors enjoy today would not have been possible without the funds raised by the walk,” said Park Manager Jeff Wiersma.

Those who chose not to walk can ride a park shuttle down the trail. Returning walkers will gather at the old tennis court to hear the latest park news, total funds raised. The event is an opportunity for park visitors to see new park developments and learn about future park projects.

The park’s new paved bike and pedestrian trail is the first phase of a trail system that will soon connect to the city of Battle Lake, 3 miles away. Completion of the Battle Lake connection is expected in July.There is no fee to enter the park on the day of the walk/bike.

It wraps up by noon, but visitors can always extend their day with an overnight stay in the cart-in campground or one of four camper cabins. For more information, call the park at 218-864-0110 or visit