Oct. 27, 2022
For immediate release
Media contact: Cathy Malakowsky, City of Albert Lea, engagement and enrichment director, at [email protected] or 507-377-4316

Input invited for proposed trail from Albert Lea to Hartland

Residents, businesses and officials are invited to learn more and provide feedback on a Trail Action Plan for a former rail corridor from Albert Lea to Hartland.

The City of Albert Lea and Freeborn County are working on a plan to develop a trail along 13 miles of the former Union-Pacific rail corridor extending from the south part of Albert Lea, through several neighborhoods, across State Highway 13 and along the highway north to Hartland.

“We want to create opportunities for year-round outdoor activity for everyone in our community while attracting tourists to the area,” said Cathy Malakowsky, engagement and enrichment director for the City of Albert Lea.

“We encourage anyone with an interest in this trail to take part in one or more of the biking, walking and mapping workshops on November second,” she added.

The bike- and walk-shop are being held during normal business hours to take advantage of daylight for safety and observation purposes. The mapping workshop will be held during the early evening. Details are below.

Wednesday, Nov. 2
10:30 a.m. – Noon, Bike-shop

    • Meet at the City Municipal Garage, 414 Commercial St., Albert Lea.
    • Participants will bicycle about 4 miles along local streets to talk about potential bicycle improvements and connections to the proposed trail.
    • Bring your bicycle and helmet, and dress for the weather.
A proposed trail along the former Union Pacific rail corridor would include a segment along Shoff Park and Elmira Street in Albert Lea. The City of Albert Lea and Freeborn County invite the public to learn about the project and provide input for the plan at events on Nov. 2.

2:30 – 4 p.m.: Walk-shop

    • Meet at Shoff Park, 400 State Highway 13, Albert Lea.
    • Participants will walk about 1 mile to see and talk about potential improvements to increase the safety of street crossings along the proposed trail, including the Lakeview Elementary area.
    • Dress for the weather. Participants will walk rain or shine.

5:30-7:30 p.m.: Mapping Charrette

    • Edgewater Bay Pavilion, west end of Edgewater Park. Albert Lea.
    • Participants will map out solutions to potential challenges to develop a safe and accessible trail.

The City of Albert Lea and Freeborn County are developing the Trail Action Plan with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which provided a grant for the plan. Under the grant timeline, the plan would be ready, after incorporating local feedback, by the end of February 2023.

For more information:

    • Flyer on Active Trail Plan events on Nov. 2 in English and Spanish.
    • Map for the proposed trail route in Albert Lea.