Minneapolis asks for feedback on proposed upgrades to Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Long-term improvements are in the works at the most-visited park in Minnesota.

The Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park includes Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreational Board wants some final feedback before the 45-day public comment period ends.

“The Chain of Lakes is the number one most visited state park in the state of Minnesota,” said Emma Pachuta, project manager with the MPRB.

Pachuta says for the last three-plus years, the Park Board has been exploring some long-term upgrades at this park. It’s part of the board’s overall plan to do this for every park in the system.

“We’ve involved the public into the vision of what this park system is going to look like,” Pachuta said.

Improvements could include better water quality of the lakes, safety upgrades on trails for pedestrians, and a new route along the Kenilworth Channel, which connects Cedar Lake to Lake of the Isles.

“We heard a lot of feedback from folks requesting this connection,” Pachuta said.

Other upgrades include a new skating loop near the existing rink on Lake of the Isles and pedestrian access directly from the dog park to the Midtown Greenway.

“Being able to run your dog or walk your dog and then kick out the backside from the dog park into that system is going to be amazing,” said Mike Dana, who loves to visit these lakes.

“It’s so important in Minnesota to get out as much as you can,” said Susan Krook, who lives in Minneapolis.

In feedback gathered by the Park Board, one of the most requested upgrades is new bathrooms at these lakes.

“This plan proposes two new temporary restrooms at Isles because there was really a lack of restrooms at Isles, and then we actually proposed a permanent restroom where there is currently a port-a-potty at East Cedar Lake Beach,” Pachuta said.

Frequent visitors to the park say it would be a welcome improvement.

“I’m not surprised. Look, it’s definitely a nice part of being out in public,” Dana said.

Until March 10, the public’s final thoughts on the project are welcome.

“Anything that can be done to increase activity and people’s usability of this spot is killer,” Dana said.

Once everything is finalized, some changes could be coming soon, but this is a two to three-decade vision for the Park Board, so bigger projects may take time.

“Aren’t we one of the top, if not the top park system in the country? Let’s keep it that way,” Krook said.

Visit the Park Board’s website to take a closer look at the project plans or to submit feedback.