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The Shingobee Connection Trail, spanning nearly 7 miles, offers a key link between two much longer rail-trails—the Paul Bunyan State Trail and Heartland State Trail—making it possible to travel more than 175 continuous paved miles through central Minnesota.
The trail, which opened in 2014, offers a perfect mix of convenience, running through the friendly community of Walker, and also natural beauty as it travels through Chippewa National Park. The park itself offers many recreational amenities: campgrounds, lakes and streams for fishing, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, and plentiful birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Parking is available at the north end of the trail in Walker City Park and on the north end of town at the parking lot at the corner of Railroad Avenue W. and 6th Street NW.
Agree with the other reviewer that this follows the road a bit too closely, but that's not a problem if it's only 1/3 of a longer route, taking the Paul Bunyan Route NW at the junction (this is a gorgeous newly paved stretch with hills and curves, tho not too strenuous) and continuing ENE along an old RR grade back to Walker, where you can celebrate with a beer and lunch. We saw wolf scat on the second third of this route once (first wondered why folks were walking dogs this far off the road, then stopped and noticed fur in the poop, plus it was still steaming a bit!) Really great loop.
As a connection trail it’s good and parts out of town are nice. But there are a lot of crossings and the highway one was crazy. Pretty high speed traffic, could use an overpass or some safer way to cross.
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