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Bluff Tracks trail system development eyes economic impact


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Apr 11th, 2016
Posted in Peterson The Great Outdoors

Development of a multifaceted recreational trail system, centered in the Rushford Peterson Valley, continues to gain momentum. The Bluff Tracks Recreational Trail System seeks to enhance the existing natural beauty of the area, while providing a variety of experiences that will attract repeat users, year round, through a series of multi-modal trails.

“Typically, the local population has left this area to find and satisfy their recreational desires. In the process, they have transferred wealth to the area they visit,” notes Vern Bunke, of Rushford, the lead voice behind the project’s development. “This needs to be challenged. The vast majority of Minnesota does not possess what we have; the majestic forested bluffs and serene valleys with high-quality streams. This may be our greatest asset. We have something worth enjoying and sharing with others. Recreation trails have the unique potential to impact the majority of residents, as well as attract thousands of visitors.”

Bunke has a long history of promoting the outdoor opportunities of the area, beginning in his youth, working on development of the area’s first snowmobile trails in the ‘60s. “My father, an Outdoor Power Equipment dealer, my brother and I spent many weekends and summer evenings clearing brush, fixing fences, and digging posts for signage. We worked with the needs and desires of each landowner to create a safe and lasting trail network we could ride and share with others,” he adds. A discussion in the 1980s, regarding the natural crossroads location of the Rushford Peterson Valley, further prompted Bunke to envision additional trails within the bluffs of southeastern Minnesota.

“Everyone, in my mind, should experience the beauty, serenity, plant and wildlife of the area. It is rich and productive farmland, but much of the bluff land is covered in hardwood forest; perfect for getting away from the stress and hurry of today’s world.”

The concept of the Bluff Tracks Trail System is clear; creation of as many as 500 miles of trails within a potential 650-square-mile footprint in the forested bluffs and valleys that exists in an area extending 10-15 miles in each direction from the Rushford Peterson Valley. Trail users and their respective choice of recreation will co-exist, but be separated and secluded in the forested bluffs; physically, visually, and acoustically.

The trail system will be comprised .....
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Is there a moose in Peterson?

Mon, Nov 17th, 2014
Posted in Peterson The Great Outdoors

Is there a moose in Peterson? Photo by Megan Grebe

Highway 43 project update

Thu, Mar 27th, 2014
Posted in Peterson The Great Outdoors

PETERSON, Minn. - Last November we began a discussion about the Highway 43 reconstruction project through Rushford. At that time we said the project will begin in late April or May. We now know that the earliest the project will begin is late May. ..... 
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