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This multiuse trail is named in honor of a man who worked to make sure Rochester residents had safe places to walk and cycle. John Wellner was the city's infrastructure manager for 18 years, during which time he spearheaded the expansion of the trail network, which stands at 85 miles today. The trail was dedicated to him in 2018, one year after he passed on.
Like other trails in the system, the trail is asphalt and accessible, open to users of all ages and abilities. At just over 3 miles long, it provides connectivity from Century High School on Viola Road, down to the Rochester Community and Technical College on 30th Avenue. Starting behind the fire station on Viola Road, the trail heads south through Parkwood Hills Park, with the setting becoming more wooded as it enters Quarry Hill Park. It passes right by the Quarry Hill Nature Center and parking lot, crossing over Silver Creek and railroad tracks before meeting Silver Creek Road. The trail parallels the road south, past the Gordon W. Yeager Wildlife Management Area.
The trail travels along Collegeview Road, connecting to the Rochester Baseball Complex. Just south of that is the RCTC. The trail's southern stopping point is at the corner of 30th Ave. and US Highway 14.
Park at Parkwood Hills Park (2232 Parkwood Hills Drive NE, Rochester, MN 55906). The park has amenities for sports like baseball and basketball, a playground and an open play field. You can also run or cross-country ski on the trails.
You can also park at Quarry Hill Park (2100 9th ST NE, Rochester, MN 55906). Fossil hunting is one of the highlights of the park, as remnants of ancient sealife can still be found in the disused limestone quarries. Other activities to do in the 300-acre park include hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and birdwatching.
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