Skip to main content

Exploring the Rock River

Committee members tour shores for potential water trail development
Lead Summary
, , , , , , ,
Mavis Fodness

Smiles were prevalent on everyone’s faces as they exited their canoes, kayaks and small boats from the Rock River Tuesday morning, June 30.
The group had just spent a little more than three hours on the water.
“It’s really relaxing … letting the river carry you along,” said Luverne City Administrator John Call.
Eleven people representing the city, Luverne Area Chamber, Rock County and the state of Minnesota boarded their watercraft about five miles upriver from Luverne.
On their trip down the river, the group looked for suitable places to enter and exit the river as part of their quest to develop a public water trail.
In January members of the Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau began exploring the development of a water trail on the Rock River. The group planned an exploratory trip down the river in May, but high water levels postponed the event until June 30.
For many on Tuesday’s expedition, traveling on the river in borrowed vessels was a first-time experience.
“I wouldn’t mind getting a kayak,” said Luverne City Council member Eugene Marshall after the trip.
Marshall paddled a canoe with Phil Nasby, area supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) parks and trails division.
“Certainly from yesterday’s water levels, it was very conducive for a water trail,” Nasby said. “I think they should continue pursuing more public landings.”
Others who made the trip down the river included Luverne Economic Development Director Holly Sammons, Luverne Area Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere, Rock County Land Management representatives Arlyn Gehrke and Doug Bos, and Chamber committee members Billy Cowell, Curt Bloemendaal, Vance Walgrave and Mike Davis.
Davis said the group’s next step is to put last week’s trip on paper, mapping suitable water trail entry and exit points before meeting again this fall.
“We look to fill in some bits and pieces,” Davis said. “Most of the places we get on and off (the river) are already publicly owned.”
Pursuing a formal water trail will depend on public support, he added.
“People need to try it out and see if they like it,” Davis said. “We need people to tell (city and county) officials that they want it.”
Funds for the development of public parking areas and boat landings are available through the DNR.

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.