Recreation Planning is vital to the Upper Minnesota River Valley as a means to ensure a high quality of life and a variety of experiences and services to visitors, potential businesses, and current and future residents of the region. Numerous recreation opportunities are available including hunting on private and publicly-owned lands, fishing, prairie hiking, camping, canoeing, and wildlife viewing for Bald Eagles, Greater Prairie Chickens, waterfowl and other game that call this area home. Further, the Upper Minnesota River Valley offers three Scenic Byways (Glacial Ridge, King of Trails, and the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway), in addition to the ever-growing system of paved trails in the region. All of these areas are expanding, and assistance is available to expand upon these recreational opportunities. The UMVRDC is here to help!
Visit the Western Minnesota Prairie Waters website for outdoor adventure opportunities in our region.
Park Planning & Development
The UMVRDC can assist units of government with park planning & design, mapping available or potential resources and boundaries, and grant writing to improve the park system within the region. As the RDC has been involved in numerous grant writing opportunities through various grant programs, visit the Park Development page for more information on how the RDC can aid you in park planning.View Lac qui Parle County Park Master Plan
Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission carries out system planning and provides recommendations to the legislature for grants funded by the Legacy Parks and Trails Fund for parks and trails of regional significance outside the seven-county metropolitan area.
DNR Water Recreation Grant Programs
Trail Planning & Development
The UMVRDC has worked extensively with units of government to develop a trail system throughout the region. Throughout this process the RDC has amassed detailed resources regarding trail development and funding opportunities.
Need assistance planning and funding a trail in your jurisdiction? Look below at what the UMVRDC can do for you!
Trail Planning Tips
- View the Trail Development Guide (click here) created by UMVRDC Staff that details a planning process and resources available to those working on trail projects. The RDC can provide information regarding trail design standards, average trail costs/maintenance, and construction funding sources.
- Guiding Parks & Trails Finding the right grant for your project can be a challenge. The Minnesota Parks and Trails Council catalogs grant opportunities and offers specific deadlines, average grant amounts, eligibility, and more.
Transportation Alternatives Program (MnDOT Program) that coordinates Minnesota transportation projects with federal dollars. See the Transportation page for more information.
DNR Recreation Grant Programs
- Local Trail Connections Program
- Regional Trail Grant Program
- Federal Recreational Trail Program
- All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Grants-in-Aid
- Cross Country Ski Trail Grants-in-Aid
- Four-wheel Drive Vehicle Grants-in-Aid
- Off-Highway Motorcycle Grants-in-Aid
- Snowmobile Grants-in-Aid
- Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Conservation Grants
Bike Trails – Is your community bike friendly?
Promote health and wellness, physical activity, and livable communities by ensuring your community encourages biking. Residents of bike friendly communities have access to safe physical activity. Routes and paths are assets that a community can promote to tourists and residents. Bike friendly communities enjoy health, economic and environmental benefits.
Is there a place to park bikes? Could your library “check out” bike locks? Where can people bike safely in your community?
- Community scorecard: Is your community bike friendly?
- Bicycle Friendly Community Resource Guide: A Toolkit for Minnesota
- Visit AmericaBikes.org to find resource and partnership opportunities
- Visit the UMVRDC Safe Routes to School page for bicycle safety information, and grants to support bicycle related programming, planning, and infrastructure