Construction and Maintenance Projects

Old Cedar Avenue Bridge 512x219

"Old Cedar Avenue Bridge" by Mike Richards

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge projects: 

Long Meadow Lake Trail (Long Meadow Lake Unit)

Xcel Energy project, Bloomington visitor center to powerlines 4.5 miles upriver 

Beginning mid-December 2020, Xcel Energy will be conducting permitted maintenance work that will impact eastern portions of the Long Meadow Lake Trail in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Replacement of power line structures within the Long Meadow Lake Unit of the refuge may continue through April 1, 2021.

Expect occasional vehicle and heavy equipment traffic along the Long Meadow Lake Trail, including trail sections from the Bloomington Visitor Center/American Boulevard entrance gate to the power lines 4.5 miles upriver.  Work includes clearing some vegetation within the easement, replacement of power line structures, and remediation once the installation is complete. Temporary closures will be announced via our Facebook Page and trail report page, and temporary signs may be posted at trail heads during closures.  Questions or concerns about this project can be sent via email to Deputy Refuge Manager Eric Mruz at

Due to rutted conditions of the trail surface, hikers, cross-country skiers, and cyclists may use the immediate shoulder space of the trail only.  As a reminder, cycling is only allowed within existing, managed trails, and off-trail travel is prohibited.  Visit our maps page for downloadable trail maps identifying trails and trail heads.

Old Cedar Avenue (Long Meadow Lake Unit)

Trailhead project

This project is a collaboration with the City of Bloomington, and included improvements to parking, signing, and addition of a City-owned restroom and shelter facility at the trail head. 

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge site improvements include a nature play area, natural prairie plantings, and trail and signing updates.  These Refuge projects are ongoing throughout 2020.

For more updates on the full project, visit the City of Bloomington website: 

Wilkie Unit

Habitat restoration project

Restoration of wetland habitats will take place 2020-2022 at the Wilkie Unit of Minnesota Valley National wildlife Refuge.  Work will include addition of water control structures and an earthen plug to manage water levels. These structures will provide the ability to adjust water levels to help plants grow and create quality feeding and resting habitat for waterfowl.  

This restoration work will include frequent temporary closures to trails and areas within the Wilkie Unit. Check the trail reports page to see current conditions to plan your visit, and announcements about upcoming closures will be posted to our Facebook page.

NOTE: A closure to the Minnesota State Trail to all pedestrian and cyclist access under the 169 bridge will begin December 28, 2020 and continue through March 2021. Visitors will still be able to access the trail from the west to the 169 bridge, and from the east at Bloomington Ferry trailhead to the 169 bridge area.  All closures will be signed and marked on site. We apologize for the inconvenience to visitors in this area as we work to restore habitats for the future.

Click here for specific project information.

Rapids Lake Unit

Habitat restoration project

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota DNR, and Minnesota Valley Lands are partnering to restore wildlife habitat on the Rapids Lake property south of Carver, Minnesota.  Work includes restoration of prairie wildflower and oak savanna habitats, and will involve herbicide applications, native plant seeding, and occasional mowing. Click here for detailed information.


State of Minnesota projects: 

Minnesota Valley State Trail: Lyndale Landing to Old Cedar Avenue

Construction of "Phase 1A" is underway from Lyndale Landing as of Fall 2019.  Access to Long Meadow Lake Trail (river bottoms trail) is open, but expect occasional construction traffic.  Construction will continue through 2020 and 2021.

For more information, visit the DNR webpage for the Minnesota Valley State Trail project at

Additional information can be found at the City of Bloomington website

    Reminder to cyclists: Bluff Trail (Long Meadow Lake Unit) is closed to all cycling between Indian Mounds Spur and Old Cedar Avenue trailhead.  Plan to take surface streets from Indian Mounds Spur, or follow the trail to the Long Meadow Lake Trail at Hopkins Road trail fork.