Casey Jones State Trail

Casey Jones State Trail


Puffy clouds and trail through grassy hill
Prairie lands along the Casey Jones State Trail
Farm in distance with trail in front
Farms dot the landscape along the Casey Jones
Mural painting on a trail sign for Currie Loop of Casey Jones Trail
The Friends helped create artistic signs along the trail

About the trail

pinpointing Casey Jones State Trail on Minnesota

The Casey Jones State Trail has the distinction of being the first trail authorized to be a state trail in Minnesota. It currently exists in three, unconnected segments with the plan to eventually connect them. The longest segment runs for 13 miles starting in Pipestone, Minn, but only 5 miles are paved. Another 6-mile, paved, loop segment runs from Lake Shetek State Park to Currie, Minn. The final segment is a natural-surface trail running for 2.5 miles starting in Lake Wilson, Minn.

Our Work by the Numbers



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Trail Map Showing Project Sites

Project Stories

Securing a trailhead for the future trail

grassy trail
Unpaved segment of Casey Jones State Trail leading to the land we helped acquire for the trailhead in 2015.

TIMELINE: 2015-TBD (in progress)

ACRES: 0.58

VALUE: $3,000 (at time of acquisition)

LOCATION: In the city of Lake Wilson

When a “for sale” sign went up on the small, empty lot at the edge of the small town of Lake Wilson, it brought renewed excitement for a group of volunteers who have been working to connect a trail. This lot sits right along a short, natural-surface segment of the Casey Jones State Trail and would provide an optimal trailhead. Acquiring a key parcel like this can spur movement on paving and extending the trail.

The Friends of the Casey Jones Trail wasted little time before taking action. One member offered to donate the $2,500 to buy the land, and then the group quickly partnered with our staff to coordinate the deal. Shortly thereafter, in late August of 2015 we closed on the land.

We will hold the land in trust, protecting its use for the trail until the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is ready to complete this section of the Casey Jones State Trail. The Friends plan to donate the land to the DNR when that time comes. But that may be a while as there is currently 3.5 miles of land that needs to be acquired before this Lake Wilson segment connects with the Woodstock segment.

“Taking action to buy this small parcel is a bold move that we’re excited to be a part of,” said Brett Feldman, executive director of Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. “It shows that the community really believes in this trail and will make a personal investment to get it done.” Local communities are often the driving force for building state trails because they see the benefits they bring to their community both for local recreation and in attracting users from across the state to visit.

Project Partner

Help save special places

Since 1954 we’ve helped to save nearly 10,000 acres of incredible land for Minnesota’s parks and trails. Each year this work gets harder and more critical to continue. Please help us continue this important work.

Land Projects at Other Parks or Trails

Tour more of the land projects we’ve undertaken for parks and trails.

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