Stower Seven Lakes Trail Master Planning

At the June 18th, 2019 meeting of the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Resolution 25-19 was adopted to authorize the continuation of the trail master planning process for the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail. This resolution sets in motion the process to develop the trail plan. Approval for obtaining consultant services via Request for Proposals was provided. In September 2019, Toole Design was hired as a consultant to assist county staff in the development of this master plan. The anticipated timeline for development of a draft master plan is from September until Spring 2020. This webpage is the place where vital information about this project will be kept and updated.

The trail corridor that is being planned can be viewed here - Map

Stower Resolution 21-02 - 12/31/2020

Stower Seven Lakes Trail Master Planning Project

Project Schedule
  • Task: Draft Master Plan is available for public review and comment. Draft plan and presentation are available below on this page. Comments can be sent to Date: 2/12/2020
  • Task: Environmental Services Committee (ESC) will review the draft plan and make trail use recommendations and updates to planDate: 2/19/2020 ESC Meeting
  • Task: ESC sets public hearing on draft master plan and recommended usesDate: 2/19/2020 ESC Meeting
  • Task: Public hearing on Master PlanDate: 06/10/2020 at ESC meeting. See Notice Below for more details, including how to provide video comments on the plan.
  • Task: ESC considers public hearing comments and makes any changes to draft planDate: 06/24/20 and 07/08/29 ESC Meetings.
  • Task: ESC recommends Master Plan including uses to County BoardDate:  07/08/2020 ESC Meeting 
  • Task: County Board reviews comments and adopts Master Plan and sends adopted plan to DNR for their reviewDate: 07/21/2020 County Board Meeting
Draft Trail Plan and Presentation
Current Public Participation Events
Online Survey
This is not a vote. This survey has been developed to gather public input and to gauge public sentiment on the recommended alternatives. Survey closed.

Public Opinion Results
Review of Public Opinion on Use Alternatives can be found here: Public Opinion Results

Public Hearing

On June 10, 2020, a public hearing on the draft Stower Seven Lakes Master Plan will be held at the County Board Room. Please see the notice below:
Previous Public Participation Events
Here are a list of activities that the County have already conducted to gauge public sentiment about the Stower Seven Lakes Trail. Efforts to collect public input were developed in two phases.

Phase 2:
Open House Tabling Event:
On October 22nd, 2019 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Amery Community Center. In cooperation with Toole Design, Polk County is inviting the general public to provide their thoughts and opinions on the trail. The event will also include an update on the trail planning process, summary of public engagement so far, and trail funding opportunities and limitations. Here are the informational posters for the event. Event Posters

Stakeholder Meetings:
On October 22nd, 2019 key stakeholder groups (The Friends of the Stower Seven Lakes Trail, Polk County Snowmobile Council, Local elected officials around trail corridor, and economic development interests) will have a chance to provide their input on the trail at individual meetings with the trail planning consultant. 

Phase 1:
Subcommittee Agendas and Minutes:
The Subcommittee ran from May 2018 to September 2018. The purpose of the Subcommittee was to guide the process and develop a survey. The Subcommittee was comprised of one Polk County Environmental Services Committee member that was the Chair, one member of the Friends of the Stower Seven Lakes Group, and 5 members of the public from different interests. Here are their agendas and minutes:

Environmental Services Committee agendas and minutes

Online Survey:
Closed: conducted over the course of a month in the summer of 2018. About 2,000 people responded to the survey and the results can be found here:

Trail Planning Survey Results

Public Hearing:
On July 31, 2018, a public hearing on Phase 1 was held at the Unity School Auditorium. Over 200 were in attendance and 53 individuals spoke at this event.

Open House:
On August 28, 2018, an open house event was held at the Polk County Government Center beginning at 6pm. Attendees were given an update on the recommendations the trail planning subcommittee developed based on public input in Phase 1 and were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft plan.
 06/10/2020 at ESC meeting. See Notice Below for more details, including how to provide video comments on the plan.

Resolution 21-02