By Friends of Bertram Lakes
A $3.8 million, 164-acre acquisition successfully closed on June 5, 2014, bringing the park total to 721 acres. The purchase was made possible with $2.2 million in grant funding and additional match funding from Wright County and the City of Monticello.
The next acquisition of 80 acres is slated for 2015. The estimated cost is $2.3 million with $1.4 million coming from grant funding.
With the closing of the latest acquisition, the county and city will now own the beach at Bertram Lake and the 12-acre parcel where the YMCA intends to build its new Day Camp Manitou. The YMCA will operate Camp Manitou on the county and city property through the end of the 2014 season and will transition over to their new camp for the 2015 season. The county and city will look into the options for opening the beach to the public after day camp hours. There are many issues that need to be resolved prior to opening the beach; therefore, it is assumed the public opening of the beach will commence in 2015. Furthermore, the city has secured grant funding to begin Phase I of the Athletic Complex sometime in 2015.
Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) will continue building the single track mountain bike trails in the park this summer. Currently MORC volunteers are working to reroute and rebuild a 10-mile mountain bike loop open to non-motorized use; however, it is expected that the trails will grow to 14 miles. MORC volunteers work on the trails in the park on Wednesday evenings through the summer. Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park is the one place in Wright County that offers mountain biking. The trails are signed and bikers are encouraged to test out the trails. The topography is fun to ride and there are a lot of great switches, so there can be challenging parts!
Once Bertram reaches its planned 1,050 land acres (1,200 acres including water bodies), it will become the largest regional park in Wright County!