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Trailside Campground debuts in Rushford Village

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

Rushford Village is one step and a few months closer to getting a hold of more of those often elusive tourism dollars. Newly developed Trailside Campground will make its debut along the Root River Trail this spring, as seasonal tourists begin pouring into the area.

Located on former farmland, just north of the state trail and scenic highway 16 and south of Highway 30, the 48-site campground is the product of more than two years work of toil by developer Harold Naber, owner and operator of Eagle Cliff campground in Lanesboro.

"We'd been looking for an additional location to take advantage of the state bike trail," notes Nabor. "In 2009, we had a waiting list of 72 at our Lanesboro location. There was definitely a demand for more seasonal camping sites in the area." Nabor had previously owned a used auto dealership in the community and knew it was a prime location. "The Rushford area supported us so well and we met so many good people.

Still, Nabor didn't see anyone trying to take advantage of the community's tourism business. "The demand is still there," he adds.

While the drive and commitment was there from the developer, several hurdles attempted to push the project back. The 15 acres on which Trailside Campground sits was initially purchased in February 2010 from Val and Mary Gudmundsen. However, when Nabor tried to secure a clear deed, it turned out that more than 50 years ago, as the land had passed down through an inheritance, there had been a mistake on the deed. That error took at least six months to clear up.

The next hurdle was getting the campground approved with the local zoning ordinances of Rushford Village. Unfortunately, the village had no applicable zoning ordinance in place and Nabor was once again forced to wait until the village had documented an official ordinance. Construction of the campground began in July of 2011. The campground is scheduled to open April 1, 2012.

"This site may not sit right along a river, but to be honest, the river can really beat us up," acknowledges Nabor. "Ten times since 2000 we've had to deal with flooding at that site." The Rushford Village site, while not adjacent to the Root River or Rush Creek, is in close proximity to both, and as the local Trails and Tourism boards as well as Tri-City groups cooperating between the village, Rushford, and Peterson continue to work out tourism potentials Nabor knows the waters are a big draw. "It's a huge asset," he enthuses. "We'll be able to utilize two other canoe, kayak, and tubing outfitters in the Rushford area. Hopefully, it'll boost their business, too."

Even though Trailside Campground has the same developer and will use much of the same staff to maintain it, it will be a completely separate entity from Eagle Cliff. The majority of the sites will be year-long leases and will have 50 amp electrical service, sewer, and water to each site. Twenty of the 48 sites, which are 3,200 sq. feet in size, are already spoken for and Nabor expects it won't take long until 30-35 are filled with committed clients. The remaining sites will be available for temporary rental for either campers or more primitive tent camping.

There are no forseeable future projects for Nabor once Trailside is up and running. "There are a lot of regulations and requirements that inhibit development progress by the small individual. Still, we're going to keep going forward. This is only a start. People will realize that the Rushford area has a lot to offer."

Persons interested in Trailside Campground can contact Emily Spende at 507-467-2598.

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