There are many summertime visitors to our charming town and a recreational trail is an opportunity to offer them even more reasons to stay a bit longer…

I’m one of the many PRHS alums who left town after graduation but enthusiastically return in the summer months to see family and friends and take advantage of the best of Minnesota’s lake culture. My family loves this place – the small town hospitality and the plethora of outdoor recreation options.

Our cabin on South Lake Lida literally borders beautiful Maplewood State Park and we make several visits during our month-long stay to hike, swim and even attend an outdoor concert. I’m proud to say we became Lifelong Members of the park last year.

Last week we visited the neighboring Glendalough State Park near Battle Lake after hearing many positive things about their new bike trails. Our afternoon at Glendalough was fantastic; we rented bicycles inside the park, rode through woods and fields and around lakes and into the bustling little town – a lovely ten mile loop.

Since then I’ve had conversations with two friends in Pelican Rapids – one of whom is our County Commissioner (and my PRHS classmate) and the other, our Mayor!

I found out from Wayne Johnson and Brent Frazier that the town was recently awarded grant money from the State of Minnesota to make continued progress on a proposed bike trail of our own – one connecting downtown Pelican Rapids with Maplewood State Park. My family enthusiastically supports this project and we hope other seasonal and fulltime residents feel the same way.

The word on the street – or in this case, the bike path – is that 11 new businesses have sprung up in Battle Lake since Glendalough’s trail opened and I’m not surprised.

During our ride, we stopped for lunch at a local cafe and then returned later to shop at a gift store and buy an ice cream cone. And we noticed other bikers doing the same.

This could happen in Pelican Rapids also!

There are many summertime visitors to our charming town and this is an opportunity to offer them even more reasons to stay a bit longer. What can I – one of Pelican Rapids’ seasonal residents – do to help make this proposed asset a reality?

According to a recent Press article, “a thousand or more long distance bicyclists peddle through Pelican Rapids each year, thanks to the town’s position on the Northern Tier bike route.”

Our town is the mid-point between the east and west coasts. Perhaps a reward we can offer those adventurous riders half-way into their journey is a detour into our beloved Maplewood via a formal path.

Meanwhile, it would be there to improve the quality of our lives in the form of health and wellness, community building, economic returns and much more.

Pamela Hovland (Class of 1979)
Wilton, Connecticut