Construction and Maintenance Projects

Old Cedar Avenue Bridge 512x219

"Old Cedar Avenue Bridge" by Mike Richards

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge projects: 

Education and Visitor Centers

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

2020-2021 projects include upgrades to public address systems within the Bloomington visitor center, and installation of digital displays at Rapids Lake and Bloomington visitor centers to assist guests during their visit.

In November 2020 repairs to the exhibit hall floor at Bloomington Education and Visitor Center will begin.  

NOTE: Our visitor centers remain closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here for more information.  

Long Meadow Lake Unit

Trail construction: Bloomington visitor center to Lyndale Landing

Expect occasional vehicle and equipment traffic along the Long Meadow Lake trail.  Work and traffic on Long Meadow Lake trail includes sections from the Bloomington Refuge visitor center to Old Cedar Avenue, and Old Cedar Avenue to Lyndale Landing.  Bluff Trail will only see impacts on the far west side nearest Lyndale Landing.

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 

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: 

Bluff Trail repairs

Beginning November 20, 2020, refuge maintenance staff will be addressing a plugged culvert at the Bluff Trail trailhead at Old Cedar Avenue.  Shallow water is flowing over the trail, and staff will work to remove the plug and make repairs to the trail surface.  Watch for construction equipment and temporary closures to the trail while work is being completed.  

As a reminder, Bluff Trail is closed to all bicycle use between Indian Mounds spur and Old Cedar Avenue. Plan to walk your bikes through that section, or bypass on surface streets.  View the trail map for more information.

Bass Ponds area

Bass Ponds Loop Trail

Work begins November 23, 2020 to replace a pedestrian bridge structure over Ike's Creek on the Bass Ponds Loop Trail. Expect heavy equipment entering and exiting the area. Work will include some removal of trees to allow access for large equipment necessary for construction of the new bridge. Work is estimated to take approximately 3-4 weeks, and will require closing the Bass Ponds Loop Trail to all public use and access.

Visit our Trails Report page for conditions and closure information.  Questions? Email us at

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.   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

Highway 5, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport 

Highway 5 has reopened in both directions.  Visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Highway 5 information website for more information.

Interstate 35W Minnesota River Crossing

As of November 9, 2020, the Black Dog Trail between Cliff Rd. and Black Dog Rd. has now reopened to pedestrians and bicyclists after a clean up and repaving of the trail. Visit the MN DOT website for more information about the bridge project, and Dakota County for trail information.  

  • The path over the Minnesota River at Interstate 35W is now open as well.  
  • Trail connection between the River Bottoms trail in West Bloomington and Long Meadow/Bluff trailheads at Lyndale Landing has also reopened.  

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.