City leaders and community activists are looking for funds to push forward a completed "master plan" for renovations on the 17-mile Crooked Crane Trail circling Dickinson’s Patterson Lake.


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At a Dickinson Park Board meeting Monday, Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer presented a map that he and other city officials have been working to finalize with the Friends of the Crooked Crane Trail, a group that has spearheaded efforts to revitalize the trail since forming in August.


The largely natural route, built in 1999 and renovated for the first time in 2006, was intended to be maintained through natural use by joggers and bikers. It fell into disrepai r after years of misuse by vehicles and ATVs, and from lack of attention.


Suzanne Russ, a Dickinson State University professor, began efforts to revive the trail and has been holding regular meetings with other outdoor enthusiasts and members of the city.


Kramer said the group submitted an application earlier this month to the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Outdoor Heritage Fund for a $975,000 grant to finance the construction of a two-mile paved fitness loop along the trail’s northeast edge. The roughly $1.25 million project includes three fitness stations with both adult and children’s fitness pieces, Kramer said.


"They really wanted to make this two-mile loop something that’s very family-orientated," he said.


The loop is just the "first phase," Kramer said, of a larger project that will connect the trail back east to Dickinson and restore the northwest and southwest trails.


"We still have a lot of work to do and continue to meet with the groups to iron out the kinks," he said. "I think this is a really good start to the process."


To see a map of the master plan, visit


Faulx is a reporter with the Press. Contact her at 701-456-1207