Southeastern Minnesota canoe routes join U.S. trail systemby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has designated three canoe routes near the southeastern Minnesota towns of Kellogg and Winona as national recreational trails.
The Finger Lakes, Halfmoon Lake and Verchota canoe trails are in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. They are among 54 water trails nationwide added to the National Trails System to mark National Trails Day on Saturday.
DNR water trails coordinator Erik Wrede says no money comes with the designations, although they may help draw tourism and attention to river conservation efforts.
"Part of it is recognition of what we've already been doing," Wrede says. "We've been working with Interior and assisting them in getting this river revitalization initiative going, and then eventually there might be some federal money attached to these initiatives and we would have some additional designations in Minnesota."
Wrede says Minnesota has the oldest and largest water trails system in the nation.