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Trail Head Rest Stop coming to Beaver Bay

Work is slated to begin this spring on the site of the new Trail Head Rest Stop near the Beaver River Bridge on Highway 61. Photo by Ken Vogel

Ken Vogel

Construction will begin this summer on a rest stop next to the Beaver River in Beaver Bay. Currently the building site is undeveloped and used as a parking lot for tourists, hikers and fisherman. It’s also a well-known stop for photographers interested in capturing nearby Beaver River Falls. The rest stop will be located directly across from the Beaver Bay Tourist Information Center on Lax Lake Road.

Beaver Bay city clerk, Irv Hudyma said bids for the construction of the rest stop will be opened this spring and while the project should be completed sometime in the late summer the rest stop will not welcome visitors until spring 2015.

“This will be a seasonal rest stop. When completed (it) will have a sheltered picnic area and restrooms with hot water,” he said.

The first phase of the project should begin this April with utility work, including trenching and burying power and fiber optic lines.

“This may cause some local power outages to that immediate area and we will give proper notification before that occurs,” Hudyma said. The second part of the project should begin shortly after Bay Days in mid-July.

“This phase will include road improvements to the Lax Lake Road, along with the installation of curbing, street gutters and sidewalks; it should be at this time when foundation work starts on the building,” he added.

According to Arrowhead Regional Development Commission senior project leader Bonnie Hundrieser, the completed project will be a premier destination for travelers and should promote greater economic activity for the area, since tourists will have a place to stop and explore local businesses.

“There will be a total of six interpretive panels at the site that will educate people about the history of the area” said Hundrieser. Kiosks will educate people about the historic use of the Beaver River, identify Beaver Bay as the first settlement along the North Shore 

and provide information about the local scenic byways. Hundrieser also said the entire facility will be ADA accessible for people with mobility challenges.

The City of Beaver Bay has agreed to accept responsibility for maintenance of the facility for 20 years, once built, with funding for construction provided by a $400,000 grant from the Federal Highway Enhancement Fund and $100,000 from the Department of National Resources Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program, said Lake County senior highway technician, Bill Turnquist. Additional funding has been secured for the improvements to Lax Lake Rd.

“We will be receiving an additional $500,000 from the Minnesota County State Aid Highway System for the improvements to be made on County Road 4,” he said. All in all, the project is expected to draw more people to the area for recreation and sight-seeing.

“This will be a nice addition to our community. We hope it will invite people to stop and visit local businesses, as well as serving as a rest stop for the extraordinary trail system that brings so many to this area,” Hudyma said.