Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park Master Plan Community Feedback

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In lieu of the March 19 public meeting, the Snail Lake Master Plan final concept can be reviewed below. Feedback and questions about the final concept can be emailed to Parks & Recreation. 

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Preferred master plan concept

Due to restrictions on large gatherings, public engagement will continue to be done virtually. The following concepts were created based on public feedback from community meetings where flood affected trail infrastructure was discussed. 

The county received excellent participation and feedback regarding the Snail Lake picnic area shelter and its possible future location. County staff has modified the preferred plan based on the feedback, and this revised concept is available to the public for further review. This concept shows the proposed relocation to occur near the existing beach and lower parking area. It is anticipated that the parking lot would be reconfigured when the shelter is relocated to potentially add additional parking and update the stormwater infrastructure. This will allow the new small shelter to be located along the lake, near where it is currently, but at an elevation unlikely to flood. The development site may also feature a new sand volleyball court or other amenity to complement the shelter and beach.

Preferred Concept Features

Wetland A

  • Fixed boardwalk is proposed on the east side of Wetland A; could be installed in phases.
  • Existing paved trails on the east side of Wetland A will remain paved.  In the future, if repairing paved trails is problematic, the trail will be converted to a natural surface trail. 
  • Alternative trails to bypass flooded tunnels at Snail Lake Blvd. and Gramsie Road with at-grade crossings.

Grass Lake

  • East and north side paved trail to be realigned to accommodate flood infrastructure, and Metropolitan Council Environmental Services trunk sewer line and maintenance access.
  • Boardwalks on the west and south side to complete a trail loop around the lake.
  • At-grade crossing at Gramsie Road for tunnel bypass.

Snail Lake picnic area

Shelter - revised

Boat launch

  • The boat launch location will remain unchanged and in its current location.
  • Future reconstruction will look at raising the launch and parking facilities to accommodate higher water levels.


Short term solutions

Ramsey County Parks & Recreation looked at possible short-term solutions for the flooded sections of the Wetland A trail system. The flooded area is approximately 1,200 feet with water elevations that fluctuate.

After considering alternatives such as trail raising and temporary boardwalks, the only option that will meet permitting and floodplain requirements, codes and ADA guidelines (other than a fixed boardwalk) is a floating boardwalk. However, a floating boardwalk presents issues with ramping on either end when water elevations change.

The cost of the floating boardwalk is also found to be equal to that of a fixed boardwalk which could be the permanent solution.  In light of these findings, the county will not pursue funding to complete a temporary solution.  Instead, the preferred alternative shown above could be installed in phases.  This allows for a flexible solution to seek multiple funding sources over several years.