Four years ago, officials gathered to mark the opening of the Lower St. Croix Valley Bike Trail on the east side of the St. Croix Trail/Washington County 18 between Interstate 94 and Afton’s Old Village.
The 4-mile trail and bridge over Valley Creek in Afton were replaced in 2017 thanks to the Lower St. Croix Valley Community Foundation; Officials and private donors from Washington County, Afton, St. Mary’s Point, Lakeland, Lakeland Shores and Lake St. Croix Beach. Among the improvements: Repairs, standardized signs, ADA improvements and park benches.
This week, the Lower St. Croix Valley Community Foundation is celebrating the completion and dedication of a new $32,000 picnic shelter and picnic table next to the trail at Afton-Lakeland Elementary School.
The total cost of the trail and facilities was over $400,000. Foundation board member Louis Jambois said Washington County, which holds most of the rights, contributed $340,000, and the foundation provided nearly $97,000.
“The Foundation was a catalyst in bringing the county together, the five cities served by the Foundation and our generous donors, to do so,” said Jambois, who lives in Lakeland. “Over the past two years, this trail demonstrated its value. When people could not gather indoors, the bike trail became a very popular attraction for the Lower St. Croix Valley.
There will be a grand opening ceremony Thursday at 11 a.m. at 475 St. Croix Trail S in Lakeland. Speakers will include: Robert Craggs, Board President of the Foundation, and Gina Doe, Principal at Afton-Lakeland Elementary School.
The event will be held rain or shine.