Montevideo is fast becoming known for its outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition to its many parks, bike trails, playgrounds, and walking paths, one local group is taking the lead to promote a new and exciting project: the Lake Snoopy Loop Trail.

Minnesota trails Initiative is taking the lead on this proposed trail, and the group's president and visionary is Geoff Hathaway. Hathaway has assembled an enthusiastic group of local supporters for the project, and in addition, Rep. Tim Miller, Sen. Andrew Lang, and Sen. Dave Senjem are also on board.

Montevideo is fast becoming known for its outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition to its many parks, bike trails, playgrounds, and walking paths, one local group is taking the lead to promote a new and exciting project: the Lake Snoopy Loop Trail.

Minnesota trails Initiative is taking the lead on this proposed trail, and the group’s president and visionary is Geoff Hathaway. Hathaway has assembled an enthusiastic group of local supporters for the project, and in addition, Rep. Tim Miller, Sen. Andrew Lang, and Sen. Dave Senjem are also on board.

Also giving their support to the project is Chippewa County, the Parks and Trails Council, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, and Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge and former Congressman, David Minge.

For those who may have trouble associating the name Lake Snoopy with a location, Lake Snoopy is a name that was recently given to the wetland located along the east side of Montevideo where the Chippewa County High­way Dept. is located.

A number of the proposed project’s supporters spoke at Monday evening’s city council meeting. County Commissioner Jim Dahlvang gave the county’s perspective on the project. He said: “The county has been very supportive over the years that this has been talked about. At our Feb. 4 county board meeting, the board approved the use of county-owned property for trail purposes. We wholeheartedly support this trail!”

Dahlvang said that last month, he and a group of five others went to the governor’s office to speak with them about the trail. according to Dahlvang, they were very interested in and supportive of the project.

Kevin Hein, a local property owner and avid bike rider, spoke next. “I went to the capitol as well, and they were very supportive of the project as a regional amenity. It’s been thought through and planned out,” he said.

The projected cost of the project is $990,000. The city and county will not have to provide any money to fund the project. Instead, the group is looking to the Minnesota Legislature for funding.

The group feels that the Snoopy Loop Trail would have a positive impact on the general health of the community, as well as being an attraction for the community. The Lake Snoopy Loop Trail would connect with the Minnesota River State Trail which currently runs to Wegdahl, but the group hopes the trail will eventually go all the way to Granite Falls.

Amanda Anderson addressed the council next. She said: “I moved here from Minneapolis to work at the Pioneer PBS station. I told myself I’d only be here for two and a half years, but I’m well over three. I really like living in Montevideo! When I moved here I knew the station would be moving from Appleton to Granite Falls and I ended up in Monte because it was between the two.

“I decided to continue living here because of the really cool opportunities the town has for physical fitness. I think the Lake Snoopy loop would be a great addition to this rare fitness community we have here.”

CCM Health also supports the Lake Snoopy Loop Trail. In a statement from CEO Brian Lovdahl which was read to the council, Lovdahl stated: “CCM Health supports the Lake Snoopy Loop trail.CCM Health is striving for a healthier community, and access to outdoor trails helps support that vision.”

The group believes that community businesses will benefit from an extensive trail system. Another speaker mentioned that Montevideo could become a regional destination for biking enthusiasts and those people would invariably patronize the local businesses and restaurants.

A representative of Barr Engineering, the firm who created the Lake Snoopy Loop master plan proposal, was at the meeting to detail the design elements of the project and to answer any questions the council might have. The project has an estimated price tag of $990,000, all of which would come from state financing.

After the presentation, the council voted to prepare a resolution of support for the Lake Snoopy Loop Trail Project, which will be voted on at the next council meeting.