Deep Lake Park receives $1-million grant – Park Rapids Enterprise

Hubbard County scored a $1,042,300 grant to develop its newest, year-around recreational project: Deep Lake Park.

“We appreciate the patience of all the residents and visitors of Hubbard County on the progress of this project. We want to make sure Deep Lake Park will be a safe environment for all visitors

before we open it up for the public to enjoy,” said Hubbard County Land Commissioner Cory Kimball in a news release. “The anticipated opening of the park will be in the fall of 2024. Future phases of the project include trail development for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing, and eventually, camping facilities.”

Kimball received a Nov. 28 letter from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trail Commission announcing the successful grant funding. At its Oct. 25 meeting, according to the letter, the commission approved a 2025 Parks and Trails Legacy Grant for the full amount of Hubbard County’s request, plus a local match of $425,000.

The letter states that none of the funds may be spent until the county has a fully executed contract with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR requires several environmental documents before a grant contract can be executed.

The county hired SRF Consulting Group, Inc. of Minneapolis to prepare those documents, which include an environmental assessment statement, compliance with water and wetland regulations, pre-approval from the Minnesota State Historical Preservation Office and more.

Located at the former Val Chatel ski resort, the 440-acre property includes the entire shoreline of Deep Lake and a smaller, unnamed lake.

The county’s master plan calls for both RV, tent and cabin camping; hiking, snowshoe and cross-country ski trails; a spur to an adjacent ATV trail; mountain biking, picnic areas and non-motorized water activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

Total construction costs were estimated at $7,581,000 in November 2022. Development is divided into five phases.

According to the news release, the first phase involves road and parking area design and construction, asbestos abatement and building removal, landscape restoration, electric service installation, water well installation, parking lot lighting, park signage and architectural design and construction of a trailhead building.

Design work will begin in early 2024, with an anticipated completion date of June 2026 for this phase.

Kimball reported that the Hubbard County Sheriff Office’s Sentenced to Serve crew and Hubbard County Natural Resource Management Department employees started salvaging lumber, bar tops and other important features of the old Val Chatel lodge. These are being stored for use in future Deep Lake Park projects, he said.


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