The Casey Jones State Trail was the first legislatively authorized trail in the state, with enabling legislation passed in 1967. The original intent was that the route would utilize abandoned railroad grade in Pipestone and Murray Counties and then sweep northeast through Slayton to Lake Shetek State Park. Since the initial legislation was passed, subsequent revisions to the statute have resulted in a legislatively authorized route that spans four counties (Rock, Pipestone, Murray and Redwood).
The Friends of the Casey Jones Trail Association advocates for the development of the Casey Jones State Trail and maintenance of the existing trail, which is owned by the State of Minnesota and managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Friends of the Casey Jones Trail Association is a public tax exempt charity from Federal income tax under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Financial support of this group comes from local donations and membership from dedicated supporters. If you are interested becoming a member, visit our website. Gifts to the Association are tax deductible.
The trail consists of three main sections, not yet connected to one another:
The Pipestone Section: Thirteen miles between the city of the Pipestone and the Pipestone/Murray County line. Five miles of that section are paved, from a trailhead in the city of Pipestone to County Highway 16. There is a naturally-surfaced trail parallel to the paved section for horse, mountain bike and snowmobile use. Another 5 miles, from County Highway 16 to the City of Woodstock is currently in development.
The Lake Wilson Section: A naturally-surfaced segment runs from two and a half miles west of Lake Wilson into the city of Lake Wilson.
The Currie Loop: A six mile, paved loop between Lake Shetek State Park and the city of Currie.
The Big Picture
The dream is to have a multi-seasonal, multi-use trail to run diagonally from the southwest corner of Minnesota to the Minnesota River. With other trails groups in the region creating trails as well, there is potential for a vast, interconnected series of trails crisscrossing Southwest Minnesota! We refer to the route as a broad "corridor" as there are very few specific parcels of land identified through which it will pass. The corridor begins in a park at the south end of Luverne and goes through Blue Mounds State Park through Split Rock Creek State Park to Pipestone to Lake Wilson through Hadley to Slayton to Lake Shetek State Park to Walnut Grove and on to Redwood Falls with a naturally surfaced path parallel to the paved path to accommodate horseback riding and snowmobiling. The corridor stretches more than 120 miles, and includes 12 communities (Luverne, Ihlen, Pipestone, Woodstock, Lake Wilson, Hadley, Slayton, Currie, Walnut Grove, Lucan, Seaforth, Redwood Falls).