Owatonna’s multiple-use trail system has been created to provide a variety of recreational opportunities for city residents and visitors. To make sure the trail system is a safe and fun place for all users, please follow the rules of the road.
- Stay as near to the right side of the trail as you can while traveling safely.
- Travel in a consistent and predictable manner.
- Cyclists and inline skaters should pass on the left when going by others moving in the same direction. Please look ahead and back to make sure the lane is clear before you pull out to pass.
- Cyclists and inline skaters should give a warning signal by voice, bell or horn before passing.
- Yield when entering/crossing trails or roadways.
- When traveling in a group, please use only half the trail, so you won’t block the traffic flow.
- Pets must be on a leash. You are responsible for cleaning up after you pets. Dispensers with “pooper-scoopers” are available on each trail.
- This is a recreational trail only. Cyclists and inline skaters must not race or use excessive speed.
- No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails with the exception of handicap scooters.
The Buxton Trail begins at North Street, traveling adjacent to Maple Creek and winding its way through Dartts Park, Brooktree Golf Course and Mineral Springs Park, before reaching its conclusion on the city’s eastern edge. The Buxton Trail, dedicated in 1998 recognizes the contributions and success of three generations of Buxtons, men who devoted their lives and careers to building a substantial national business organization. In doing so, they had a significant impact on the community where they were born, raised and spent their lives. The Buxton Trail serves as reminder of that positive impact.
The Cashman Crossing of the Straight River was completed in 1997, providing easy access from the popular Kaplan’s Woods Parkway to Walter H. Gainey Park and Prairie Park. Thanks to the generous gift of $235,000 from the estate of Mrs. Walter H. Gainey, formerly Patricia Cashman, this 200-foot-long by 12-foot-wide bridge connects Kaplan’s Woods Parkway with Lemond Road. The donation also funded construction of a handicapped-accessible playground, restroom and shelter, with seating for 80, in Gainey Park.
Mrs. Gainey was born and raised in Owatonna and it was her wish to enhance the community while honoring her husband and parents. Her gifts are dedicated to the memory of her husband, Walter H. Gainey, and to her parents, Michael Richard and Mary Quinn Cashman, in recognition of their leadership and contributions to the early growth of Owatonna. Thanks to Mrs. Gainey’s generosity, the Cashman Crossing is now yours to enjoy.
Kaplan’s Woods Parkway
Kaplan’s Woods Parkway offers a multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities including cycling, inline skating, swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing and nature walks. This 225-acre park was dedicated in 1987. Formerly Kaplan’s Woods State Park, the area was acquired by the City in 1963. As a result of the generosity of the Owatonna Foundation as well as contributions from the U.S. Department of Interior Land and Water Conservation Fund and the State of Minnesota, this natural area is preserved for you.
The Muckle Trail was named in 1998 in honor of Stan Muckle, a successful Owatonna business owner who generously bequeathed $600,000 to the Owatonna Foundation for acquisition and development of parks. The Muckle Trail runs along the Straight River in the heart of Owatonna, connecting Morehouse Park to the Buxton Trail. In 1992, the Bridge Street underpass and horseshoe shaped turn was gift from Mr. Muckle in memory of his wife, Doretta. His generosity made possible the safe passage of trail-users via a handicapped-accessible walkway from the sidewalk at Bridge Street to the underpass area. It also provided for a beautiful display of annuals and perennials. In 1996, the City of Owatonna developed another 0.79 miles of trail from Walnut Avenue to North Street, completing the Muckle Trail.
North Straight River Parkway
The North Straight River Parkway starts at either 26th Street or North Street and is 2.3 miles long. The parkway is a beautiful trail meandering along the Straight River and through the woods. The North Straight River Parkway was funded by the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant and the Minnesota DNR Local Trail Connections Grant and was paved in 2017. The parkway includes the Lange Woods, Wildung and Ihlenfled Trails, all of which are named after land donors. The parkway connects the 26th Street and Muckle trails.
Cross Country Ski Trails
The Owatonna Parks and Recreation Department maintains and grooms cross country ski trails in the following areas from mid-December to mid-February (depending on weather and snow conditions)