Gateway-Brown's Creek Trail Association
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News & Project Updates

This is where you will find information about various projects relevant to the Gateway & Brown's Creek Trails.

  • 06/06/2014 5:44 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
        At the end of April Carolyn Baird, with help from MAGI member Dennis Lindeke, installed 14 new PVC style bluebird houses along the Gateway Trail. The 14 houses are installed in pairs, starting with two at Pine Point Park and ending with four on either side of the new Wildwood school. Carolyn and Dennis monitor the houses weekly.

       The most recent count was conducted on Saturday, May 31. Ten of the 14 houses were occupied. There were 14 bluebird babies that had recently hatched, 10 bluebird eggs that had yet to hatch and 31 tree swallow eggs (no swallow babies yet). Carolyn put a spritz of vanilla over all the babies to help keep insect pests away.

       The trail is sponsored by the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota. Carolyn and Dennis are keeping a spreadsheet of the weekly counts and will share it with BBRP.

       Thanks, Carolyn and Dennis, for the great work you’re doing to help nurture nature in the Mahtomedi area!

    Article reprinted from the Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative. See the original article here.
    Photo by Rich Hoeg (Creative Commons via Flickr)
  • 04/23/2014 10:24 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
       The I-35E Cayuga construction project crews will be closing the Gateway State Trail at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, April 25. The trail needs to close for area excavation as part of the construction project, and is anticipated to remain closed through the duration of the project. The detour that was implemented last year will be posted again for this closure; trail users will be detoured to L’Orient Street, Maryland Avenue, Jackson Street and Cayuga Street.

       Also, the Gateway Trail bridge spanning I-35E is tentatively planned to be removed over the weekend of May 16. The new Arlington Avenue bridge is currently scheduled to open in advance on May 11, with the new section of the trail in place and available for users.
  • 04/12/2014 9:00 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    Combine your love of biking and hiking the Trail and nature watching. Join the new Gateway Trail Bluebird Recovery Group to help check houses along the trail from Pine Point Park to Jamaca Ave.

    We are looking for people who would enjoy weekly monitoring of a set of bluebird houses for the spring and summer months. Bird houses, training and materials will be provided. Because this is a commitment of weekly monitoring there will be a system of support when members go on vacation or need to miss their monitoring times.

    See the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota website here for more information. You are welcome to attend their Spring Expo Saturday , April 12. See the sign up on their web page. To join this project contact Carolyn Baird at baird.carolynbaird@gmail.com
  • 10/14/2013 5:56 PM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    Here's an article recently published in the Star-Tribune, a nice counterpoint to much of what dominates today's headlines!



  • 09/28/2013 6:50 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    The groundbreaking ceremony for Brown's Creek Trail took place at 2:00pm on Thursday, September 26, 2013.


    Groundbreaking ceremony held for the Browns Creek trail connecting the Gateway Trail to Stillwater. The planned completion date, including a new bridge over Manning Avenue, is September 2014. Shown in the picture from left to right are Mike Pohlena, Stillwater Councilman and Washington County Parks Manager; Courtland Nelson, DNR Director of Parks and Trails; State Representative JoAnn Ward; Washington County Commissioner Gary Kreisel; Mayor Ken Harycki of Stillwater; John Oldendorf, President GBCTA; and Bob Hagstrom, Board member of the GBCTA , representing City of Grant at the ceremony.


    Courtland Nelson, DNR Director of Parks and Trails, says a few words about the trail and it's progress.


    Let the work begin!
  • 07/03/2013 7:53 PM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    We've just added a new page to our site describing the over 60 geocaches that exist on the trail. You can visit the new page here.
  • 07/03/2013 4:07 PM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    On 7/2/13, the MN DNR made a presentation to the Stillwater City Council offering an overview of the Brown's Creek Trail. A .pdf of the presentation can be downloaded here.
  • 07/01/2013 10:55 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    This is an article that ran in the Star Tribune on June 29, 2013. The original article can be viewed here.

    The trail will link Stillwater with the popular Gateway State Trail, which runs from St. Paul into northern Washington County. Browns Creek trail, which parallels a creek by the same name for some of the distance, follows a route that the Minnesota Zephyr dinner train used for 23 years.

    “Folks will see the trail quicker than most people expect,” said Kent Skaar, a state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) acquisition and development section leader. The Browns Creek trail, he said, affords a rare opportunity to build a complete trail all at once, unlike most state trails where segments must be purchased from private landowners over years of negotiations.

    “It would be nice to get it done sooner because there’s so much anticipation over it,” said Mike Polehna, who was one of three people to initiate the Gateway trail in 1980 when they saw potential in an old rail bed. Polehna, now a Stillwater City Council member, said he agrees that it makes sense to complete the Browns Creek trail all at once.

    The Legislature appropriated money this spring for a trail bridge over busy Manning Avenue, which state and county leaders considered a necessity to prevent accidents. It didn’t seem prudent to open a portion of the trail if pedestrians and cyclists couldn’t safety cross Manning, Skaar said.

    The trail bridge, at an estimated cost of $1.46 million, will resemble one built over Century Avenue in North St. Paul on the Gateway trail. The DNR will seek bids in late August for its construction and name a contractor in September. Construction will start in October, Skaar said.

    The Browns Creek project has been greeted with joy in Stillwater, a city that suddenly finds itself enriched with eventual trail connections. The trailhead at the former Zephyr depot on North Main Street will link with a proposed city trail that will follow an abandoned rail line south to the Lift Bridge. Once a new four-lane bridge at Oak Park Heights is completed in late 2016, a loop trail will be built to cross the Lift Bridge into St. Joseph Township on the Wisconsin side of the river, and return to Stillwater over the new bridge.

    The DNR and Washington County purchased the Zephyr land from owner David Paradeau for $4.25 million. The county contributed $1 million of that amount from voter-approved Land and Water Legacy funds.

    The Browns Creek trail has two existing bridges, including an old railroad bridge over Hwy. 95 in Stillwater. Repairs continue on those bridges to make them safe for pedestrians, Skaar said, with estimated completion by mid- or late September. Trail paving won’t begin until work on those bridges is completed, he said.

    “It’s still possible we’ll get paving in this fall but we’re butting up against a tight schedule,” he said.

    Some people are walking the trail already, but Skaar said the DNR discourages that. “The trail is under construction and as a result we advise folks to stay off that corridor,” he said.

    The Browns Creek trail won’t be open to snowmobiles. Horse riders will be able to follow a western portion of the trail but not into Stillwater.

    “The city was pretty insistent that riding horses in downtown Stillwater was inappropriate,” Skaar said.



    Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037
  • 06/14/2013 8:30 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)
    GBCTA Board members were on hand Thursday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary. The Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary encompasses 42 acres of land, and will be the St. Paul's second-largest public reserve site. The Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary has been in the planning stages of development for 10 years, and will feature the Trout Brook Trail, which will connect with the Gateway Trail. The trail and nature preserve are expected to be open to the public sometime in 2015. Check out this map of the project, or this recent Pioneer Press article for more information.


    Board members Noreen Farrell, Bob Hagstrom and John
    Oldendorf (not pictured) attended the groundbreaking ceremony
  • 06/03/2013 6:00 AM | GBCTA (Administrator)

    The DNR now has the funding to complete the trail, including all of the bridge work, due to Parks and Trails Legacy Amendment funding provided by the 2013 state Legislature. The Parks and Trails Fund receives a portion of the state sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance. Read the entire article here.




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