A nonmotorized trail around White Bear Lake was first envisioned two decades ago as part of a 2001 regional plan for biking and walking titled the Lake Links Trail Network Master Plan.
The City of White Bear Lake made great progress on the portion of the project that lies within its borders when it converted Lake Avenue to a one-way road using the other lane for a shared use trail. But little else was accomplished until 2017.
Then, local residents Steve Wolgamot and Mike Brooks mobilized a group of community volunteers to usher the project to completion.
The first thing the newly formed Lake Links Association did was to gather resolutions of support from each of five communities on the lake. We brought these to State Senator Chuck Wiger, who was a legislative liaison to the initial 2001 plan and quickly began to advocate for completing the project.
In 2017 the Minnesota Legislature allocated $50,000 to Ramsey County for preliminary engineering for the South Shore segment, $11,000 to White Bear Township and City of White Bear Lake for preliminary engineering along Hwy. 96 on the north side of lake, $53,000 to Mahtomedi for preliminary engineering along Hwy. 244 through Dellwood and Mahtomedi, and $130,000 to the City of White Bear Lake to complete the Mark Sather Trail from Lions Park to South Shore.
The South Shore Trail segment was funded in 2018 and is scheduled by Ramsey County to be completed in 2022.
The City of White Bear Lake and White Bear Township each was assigned $500,000 from the 2020 bonding bill to complete the 4,000-foot segment along Hwy. 96 from Ramsey Beach to Highway 244 / Washington County line. The 2020 bonding bill also assigned $2.6 million to Dellwood to complete the 8,000-foot segment from Highway 96 to the Mahtomedi/Dellwood border.
How We Serve
We serve communities around White Bear Lake and beyond through advocacy, action, education, and collaboration.
We advocate for the construction and improvement of infrastructure supporting safe active mobility and connected communities — including, but not limited to, establishing a safe nonmotorized route around White Bear Lake and connecting it to the Gateway–Brown’s Creek State Trail, the Bruce Vento Regional Trail, Bald Eagle Lake, and downtown St. Paul.
We support initiatives that advance pedestrian and bicycle safety.
We encourage transportation on foot and bicycle in order to facilitate human interaction, improve public health, and increase community comity.
We work to establish and improve routes, trails, and paths enabling safe travel for all ages to schools, parks, and other routes, trails, and paths.
We organize and promote community- and school-based events and activities in support of active mobility.
We improve and enhance trails and paths within the community and regional parks.
We acquire property interests to prevent the loss of existing and potential parks and paths.
We establish standards and norms supporting parks, pathways, and neighborhood access.
We avert the loss of existing parks and open spaces to development
We increase the livability and desirability of communities for families with children.
We educate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists — especially those new to our community and country — about laws, rules, and safety practices related to active mobility.
We educate citizens and government entities about the value of parks, trails, and open space
We educate the public about permissive use of property without owner liability under statutory provisions.
We catalyze and collaborate with efforts of other organizations, individuals, government entities, and businesses in support of active mobility.
What People Say
Words of Support for the Lake Links Initiative:
"It’s time to complete this needed project.” – Minnesota Sen. Chuck Wiger District 43
“I appreciate your leadership on this important issue. The Lake Links trail has been, and continues to be, a concept supported by Washington County” – Stan Karwoski, Washington County Commissioner
“I enthusiastically support this legislative request.” – Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Commissioner District 7
“I’ll let you know what we can do together to help (with Washington County).” – Senator Karin Housely District 39
"I am with the White Bear Lake Lions Club and Race Director for the Bear Water Run. We hold a running race each year in September that averages over 600 runners as they circle White Bear Lake on our certified course. This year will be our 17th annual event. I have been following your efforts to get a trail around our beautiful lake and wanted to see what if anything the Lions could do to help the cause. ... I have always hoped we could have a safer course for our runners, particularly on the stretch of Hwy 244 through Dellwood." – Mike Machus, While Bear Lake Lions Club
“It is encouraging to see people showing interest.” – Cheryl Anderson
“Great work you are doing with the Lake Links project,” – The Harrods, family of four
“I support this effort 100%.” – Michelle and Peter Atakpu
“It would be amazing to have a safe lake path here on White Bear. We have two small children who need a safe place to ride.” – Devon Macnabb Quick
“Kramer-Berg Post 507 supports the efforts of the Lake Links Association to complete a safe trail or wide sidewalk past and around White Bear Lake, and specifically along Minnesota Highway #244.” – Kramer-Berg Post, American Legion
“I am fully supportive of the effort.” – Jeff Ledermann
“We want to thank you for ALWAYS making our community, neighborhood, and lake a better place for all.” – Marna & Eric Ricker, a family of four
“YES! YES! YES! Keep me in the loop on it and we can do whatever to help. I want it so much!” – Tess Flanary (family of four)
“Ron and Gay Baukol support the Lake Links project.” – The Baukols
“I can personally attest to the often dangerous conditions associated with navigating around the lake. There are stretches of road on South Shore Boulevard, #244/Mahtomedi Avenue, and Hwy 96 that have pedestrians ( bikers, runners, walkers, adults, kids, pets, etc) very close to moving vehicles (cars, trucks, and BIG trucks). Given the real issue with distracted drivers, nearly 100% of the danger associated with an accident is on the person outside of the moving vehicle.” – Tom and Kim Stratton
“We’re interested and supportive of the around-the-lake project.” – Jack & Julie Roche
“It could be very cool! – Kate & Scott Rodbro
“Congratulations and a job well done.” – Rich & Mary Ramsay
“ We fully support the effort to develop a safe bike/walk trail around White Bear Lake.” – Don & Lori Lifto
White Bear Township
“I am excited and hopeful that people are coming together to try to create a trail. I love biking and walking and it would be incredible to be able to get all the way around the lake safely!” – Kara Moen
“I live in WB Township on Lakewood just off South Shore Blvd. I would love to see a physically distinct path there for walkers, joggers, bikers and people with handicaps, all of whom use the route heavily, especially in the warmer months.” – Joe & Maggie Kraljic
“We’re in support of the trail, of course.” – Ben & Richelle Sobieski
“As a biker myself, although not as much recently, a safe and prudent trail would be a community asset to its residents, not only around the lake but also connected with the Gateway trail.” – Frank Pazlar, Dellwood City Council
White Bear Lake
“This is such an important project, and to see the possibility of a safe route around the lake would be wonderful.” – Mayor Jo Emerson
“I have been walking and biking around White Bear Lake since 1951. The improvements that have been made have upgraded the safety for everyone. However, I feel we need some improvements on the East & South sides.” – Terry Romunstad
“We are in great support of your efforts!” – Ashley Nicholls, South Shore
“Looking forward to helping with the cause.”– Jessica Pitzel
“The shoulders are too narrow (especially to walk with a double stroller) and people drive much too fast.” – Elyse Sienko, South Shore
“ I am impressed with your activity and perseverance. Nice going!” – Harvey Mills
“On the east side of the lake, there are many areas where there is not even a shoulder to bike on. It is a shame because a 10-mile loop is a good distance for most people to fit in on short notice or take the kids or grandkids around. But no responsible parent or grandparent would attempt with current roads and routes.” – Linda Johnson
“I wanted to let you know that my wife and I fully support this project. We often ride bikes around White Bear Lake and have commented on how it would be really nice to have a dedicated route for peds and bikes.” – Alex Scheuerell
“Thanks for your work on this. This is really needed! I am a strong supporter.” – Gordon Ommen
“Most of the people in our neighborhood are dog owners and we do not have sidewalks, and the streets are very narrow, making dog walking dangerous in the winter when it is dark most of the time.” – Mark & Brenda Hagan, South Shore
“Circumnavigating White Bear Lake is often on our list, as it is about a 19 mile trip from our home in Hugo, a great early spring warm-up ride. However, there are stretches that we feel are very unfriendly to bicyclists and pedestrians.” – Randal & Deb Barnes, Hugo
... and Beyond!
“Excellent!” – Jeff Riegele
“I can’t make the meeting but I support the project. Thanks for working on it.” – Matt Klem, Minneapolis
“ We live on the west side of Grant and area always running/biking to the lake and around it. We would love to be able to bring our two little girls but it is too dangerous. Please keep up the good work to get this project moving!!” – Rebecca DeBilzan, Grant