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Minnetonka mountain bike trail approved despite opposition

Many in the community are concerned the trail at Lone Lake Park may bring environmental impacts.

It's easy to see why people take a liking to Lone Lake Park in Minnetonka.

For 25 years Larry Amdahl has lived near the park. It's a place he visits 2,3, sometimes 4 times a week. 

"We do enjoy having the park," said Amdahl.

Tuesday he's concerned about nearly 5 miles of mountain bike trail at Lone Lake Park. 

"Disruptive to the wildlife. Hard on the vegetation," said Amdahl.

He's not alone in his neighborhood and in the community.

A local group has filed a petition for an environmental assessment of the trails -  particularly worried about environmental impacts to the rusty patched bumblebee. 

The city has rejected that request for an assessment. 

Last year the group Protect our Minnetonka Parks filed a lawsuit challenging that rejection which was ultimately upheld. A petition has been filed to review the ruling.

Also last year a city study showed there will be impacts, but it also showed it is feasible to build mountain bike trail at the park.

Monday night the city council approved the planning for the trail at the park in a 5-2 vote.

"Natural resources staff will be side by side the people who will site this trail so we'll do everything we can to minimize those impacts," said Minnetonka City manager Geralyn Barone.

The approval is a big win in the minds of mountain bike advocates.

"Look forward to riding in our own city," said Dana Kromer at Tonka Cycle and Ski. 

He says this trail will alleviate the burden of driving elsewhere for trails.

"Nice addition to Minnetonka parks," said Kromer. "While there is an impact, it's low."

It's unclear at this time when construction on the trail will begin. 

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