This fall, the Shooting Star State Trail got a little closer to its goal of connecting into the city of Austin. On September 15 a ribbon cutting was held for the 3-mile extension running north from the town of Rose Creek, along County Road 56.
This extension brings the Shooting Star to a total length of 25 miles, stretching from LeRoy, through Lake Louise State Park (see highlight on pp. 10-11) to this rural road three miles west of Austin. The final three miles have yet to be funded, but would connect the trail directly into the Hormel Nature Center in Austin, which has miles of nature trails and a new interpretive center.
The effort to build the Shooting Star State Trail began in the early 90’s by the local community as a way to invigorate the tourist economy. “Patience, frustration and excitement are words that describe our journey to being so close to finally connecting with the great Austin Trail System,” says local trail advocate Becky Hartwig.“We have been so fortunate to have so many good people that never gave up along the way!”