News & Stories

Loppet Donates The Trailhead to Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Photos: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Minneapolis, MN — Officials from the Loppet Foundation and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) were excited to complete the Foundation’s donation of The Trailhead on Wednesday, September 12. The 14,000 square-foot facility has been about a decade in the making — from conceptualization, to fundraising, to construction — and was built to provide a home for outdoor adventure in the heart of Theodore Wirth Regional Park in North Minneapolis.

Consisting of a large community gathering space, bike & ski shop, cafe space, and more, The Trailhead is expected to draw over 300,000 visitors to the park annually, and provide much needed infrastructure to make the park more accessible and welcoming to neighboring communities. Loppet Foundation and MPRB representatives came together in mid-July for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to open the space to the public, as well as a reading of The Trailhead proclamation by youth involved in Loppet programming.

The Loppet Foundation and MPRB have worked together for more than 15 years to realize the vision for The Trailhead, with each organization leveraging its unique expertise throughout the project. In addition, the Loppet was able to leverage its status as a 501(c)3 non-profit to contribute more than $7.5 million of the nearly $12 million total project cost. That number includes over $5.1 million in donations from more than 2,100 donors across the community.

With the completion of this donation, The Trailhead is now officially property of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The Loppet Foundation will continue to run trail maintenance, educational programs, and outdoor recreation operations out of the building through long-term lease and operating agreements with MPRB.

“This is an exciting day for the region, the city, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, North Minneapolis, and the Loppet Foundation,” said Loppet Foundation executive director John Munger. “This is the culmination of a fifteen-year partnership with the Park Board, a two-year master planning process, four years of fundraising, multiple financial arrangements, and over a year of construction. We expect this to be the start of great things for the whole community, and are looking forward to building an even bigger community around outdoor activity and events.”

MPRB President Brad Bourn agreed, adding, “We are happy that the issue with contractor has been settled so we can move forward with our agreement.”

The last step in The Trailhead project is opening its on-site cafe. The eatery is expected to open this winter and will serve a full menu, as well as beer and wine.