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Minnesota Zoo's old monorail route reopens as new Treetop Trail

The highly-anticipated Treetop Trail, the "world's longest elevated pedestrian loop," gives visitors a brand new view of their favorite zoo residents.

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — Zoo fans and families can now get a new birds-eye view of animals at the Minnesota Zoo.

The highly-anticipated Treetop Trail, the "world's longest elevated pedestrian loop," opens on Friday, July 28.

Crews have been busy rebuilding the zoo's old monorail track to make the 1.25-mile walking path that's 32 feet above the ground.

Zoo officials say the loop will be accessible for people of "all ages, backgrounds, and abilities."

The Minnesota Zoo opened in 1978 and the original monorail opened a year later. The monorail closed in 2013 because officials said it would cost too much to renovate it.

Plans to repurpose the old monorail began back in 2018 and the ceremonial groundbreaking kicked off in 2022.

"The Treetop Trail marks a new chapter for the Minnesota Zoo," said Minnesota Zoo Director John Frawley in a news release. "As we look ahead to the Zoo's next 45 years, the Treetop Trail is a major step in furthering connections to nature and animals in an accessible and immersive way."

The team that helped build the Treetop Trail are Snow Kreilich Architects, PCL Construction, and the engineering firm Buro Happold, which helped build Manhattan's High Line, a walking trail on a former elevated railroad.

The zoo has already named the new ambassador to the trail's habitat: a North American porcupine named "Quillber."

Zoo officials are excited about the new attraction, saying the Treetop Trail will provide a new perspective on the animals, which include tigers, moose, bison, and of course, all the birds around the park.

A countdown clock for the grand opening has been set up on the zoo's website.

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