New access opens below Ramsey Dam

19 July 2023

Public-private partnership creates canoe-kayak landing on the Cedar


On Wednesday morning, officials unveiled the newly created boat boat ramp especially established for kayaks and canoes on the Cedar River.

The newly renovated area is located just down from the Ramsey Mill Pond Dam, across from the Old Mill Restaurant, and marks another example of local and state cooperation in order to get people out enjoying the river.

“These are absolutely the projects we love to cooperate with,” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Area Parks and Trails Supervisor Joel Wagar said during Wednesday’s announcement. “We can’t do everything by ourselves. This is the kind of project we love to do.”

This is just the latest improvement to the Ramsey Mill Pond area in recent months to make better use of the area for activities including kayaking, canoeing and fishing.

This past fall, Hormel Foods, who owns the dam, set aside money to strengthen the dam, which included removing trees and adding chunks of rock to both sides of the dam and below to help protect it.

For this latest project, the company funded $3,000 worth of materials to the project, recognizing the opportunities the site offers to outdoor enthusiasts.

“We invested money in the dam to create a long term asset to the community,” said Hormel Director of Environmental Sustainability, later adding regarding the access: “This is providing assurance to long term, good access to recreational opportunities.”

The project brought together several entities to make the access a reality, which included creating a sloping ramp to the river to make it easier to embark upon, putting down gravel and rock and installing geo-netting that will help bolster the ramp to flooding, which that area is prone to.

The access itself was designed by Austin Assistant City Engineer Mitch Wenum and a DNR crew built the access earlier in July.

The land, part of 20 acres of flood-mitigation property at the dam, is owned by Mower County, which allowed for the building of the access.

“The partnership for this access is something we’ve done several times,” said Tim Ruzek, Cedar River Watershed District Outreach Coordinator. “This one in particular — we knew this was a popular site. We needed to put together a partnership to make this happen.”

Wednesday’s event comes just weeks after a 32-mile stretch of the Cedar River in Mitchell County, Iowa was named a state water trail by Iowa authorities, bringing the total stretch between it and Minnesota’s own 25-mile stretch to 57 miles of state water trail.

Prior to that, in July of 2022, a similar access was unveiled north of Casey’s on Turtle Creek.

This most current access will better open up a stretch of the river that winds south through a heavily wooded area before eventually empties into downtown’s Mill Pond.

The post New access opens below Ramsey Dam appeared first on Austin Daily Herald.

Need help?

If you need support, please send an email to [email protected]

Thank you.