Robert Piram Trail is now open

Dakota County and the City of Saint Paul celebrated the completion of the new Robert Piram Regional Trail, a 3.7-mile paved trail connecting Harriet Island in Saint Paul and Kaposia Landing Park in South St. Paul on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. The trail provides access to an extended network of trails and regional greenways and offers a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclists along the Mississippi River corridor. The trail is named in honor of Robert Piram, whose 38 year career with the City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department included 26 years as Director-Superintendent and left a remarkable legacy on Saint Paul’s public lands and watershed.  Watch the grand opening celebration

Trail Map and Fact Sheet (PDF)


Project Overview

Saint Paul and Dakota County have teamed up to plan for the creation of a new bicycle and pedestrian trail that will fill several important gaps in the region’s trail system. The new trail segment will connect the Harriet Island Regional Park and its trail system to Kaposia Landing Park in South St. Paul. The project will also make improvements to the connection between the Lilydale Park trail and the Big Rivers Trail in Dakota County. This trail connection project is part of the Great River Passage Master Plan where it was reviewed at multiple community input sessions. The trail alignment was selected, in part, to minimize the need for land acquisition to create the trail. The overall plans for the trail are included in the Harriet Island to South St. Paul Regional Trail Master Plan (see links below for additional graphics and project resources).

The City of Saint Paul and Dakota County were jointly awarded a Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) grant that will provide for trail construction following preliminary engineering and final design. The design and engineering will focus on providing an enjoyable, safe connection to other parts of the City and its southern neighbor South St. Paul. The trail development will include landscaping, wayfinding signage, cultural/historical interpretive elements, and pedestrian and boardwalk bridges.  It is currently anticipated that the trail will begin construction in 2019.

The completed trail is expected to become part of the Mississippi River Trail, a multi-state bike trail that begins at the Mississippi River’s headwaters at Itasca State Park and extends, adjacent to the river, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.


Robert Piram Regional Trail - Context Map

Additional community input, suggestions and comments will be gathered at open house events, as well as through other media, mailings and the usual district council participation process.  Please see below for links to project graphics and resources.

Public Meetings

2019 Project Update Meetings
Project overview and detail of trail alignment, amenities, and features.  Presentation is located HERE.
June 11, 2019 - West Side Community Organization: West Side Voices Forum
April 22, 2019 - City of Saint Paul Transportation Committee

Public Open House Community Review and Comment on the Trail Design Development.
Informational Handout
Project Summary Boards
Typical Trail Sections
Precedent Images
Regional Trail Context Map

Project Resources

Robert Piram Regional Trail Master Plan Amendment - 2017
Harriet Is. to South St. Paul Master Plan
Council Resolution RES 16-3
Project Memorandum

Project Updates 

July, 2021
Construction is substantially complete and the trail is now open from Harriet Island to South St. Paul's Kaposia Landing Park.  A small portion of the trail remains closed from Lilydale Regional Park to the Big Rivers Regional Trail due to wet conditions.

March, 2021
The Saint Paul Port Authority will begin a wetland restoration and clean up project starting on March, 29th 2021.  The work will occur adjacent to the Piram Trail near the wetlands, between Barge Channel Road and the airport.  The effort will focus on debris clean up, invasive species removal, and vegetation restoration.  


November, 2020
The trail is anticipated to be open to the public by mid-November. Remaining work for the project will continue to advance with carryover to Spring 2021.  This work includes punch list items such as miscellaneous repairs and turf establishment.   Stay tuned for more information on a grand opening celebration when the project reaches final acceptance, Spring or early Summer 2021!

October, 2020
The trail is physically closed from Kaposia Landing Park to Eaton Street while construction crews install fencing between the trail and industrial properties.  The trailhead at Kaposia Landing Park is underway with the installation of pavers, kiosk, and furnishings.  All sections of the trail connection have been paved!

September 9, 2020
Crews are hard at work all throughout the trail as summer winds down!  Concrete flatwork and paving is being buttoned up in Lilydale to complete the connection from the Big Rivers Regional Trail into Lilydale Regional Park.  The stretch of trail along the East Lafayette frontage road is being paved while the approach panels for wetland boardwalks near the airport are being poured.

August 24, 2020
Clearing and grading for the trail between Barge Channel Road and Kaposia Landing Park is underway.  Crews are completing approach panels and railing sections for the pedestrian bridge.

August 8, 2020
Crews graded and prepared trail segment C along the East Lafayette Frontage Road.  Construction of the soil nail wall under TH-52 continues as the retaining walls are formed.  Grade crossing work for the railroad is anticipated for late August.

July 31, 2020
Paving along Eaton St. occurred last week from E. Lafayette frontage road to the trail boardwalks adjacent to Holman Field.  The soil nail wall at TH-52 and Plato Blvd. is underway and crews will begin construction of the retaining wall starting next week.  Trail work will begin connecting the new pedestrian bridge to the existing trail facilities in Kaposia Landing park starting next week.  Photos of the trail development can be found here.

July 02, 2020
Segment B trail along Plato Blvd from Water St. to Wabasha is largely complete, pending final trail striping.  Crews have been building the trail sub-structure along Barge Channel Road while the pedestrian bridge ornamental railing is being installed.  Eaton street work towards the airport continues to be underway with driveway construction, grading, and aggregate base. Segment C along the East Lafayette Frontage Road is anticipated to begin in late July/early August.  Photos can be found here: Segment B and Segments D & E 

June 23, 2020
Construction is actively underway along Plato Blvd in Saint Paul from Water Street to Highway 52.  The  majority of paving for the trail and road paving has been completed along this segment while crews are completing pedestrian ramp and driveway installations.  The pedestrian bridge in South Saint Paul continues to take shape as the concrete deck is formed and poured. 

Construction crews will begin removals this week for segment C, along the E. Lafayette frontage road heading south towards Holman Field along Eaton Street.  The trail in segment A in Lilydale remains under construction and is closed from the Big Rivers Trail parking lot to Lilydale Regional Park.  Photos can be found here: Piram Trail Construction Images

March 25, 2020
Piers and caps for the northern portion of the bridge have been constructed.  Four sections of truss are being delivered to site, spliced, and erected.  Boardwalk construction is well underway for both the north and south boardwalks with joists, decking, and railing installations.  Photos can be found here:  Pedestrian Bridge and Trail Boardwalks

February 06, 2020
Piling for the two boardwalk bridges has been completed and crews are beginning to install decking in the wetland area adjacent to Holman Field.  The girders were set for the southern portion of pedestrian bridge and south abutment completed in Kaposia Landing Park.  Photos can be found here: Trail Boardwalks and Pedestrian Bridge

December 05, 2019
Crews formed foundations, columns, and pier caps for the first south site pedestrian bridge piers.  Photos can be found here: Trail Segment D

November 21, 2019
Mobilization for construction of the pedestrian bridge in South Saint Paul began this week.  Crews have been delivering materials to the site through Kaposia Landing park, staging, and assembling the crane and pile driving hammer.  Construction work on the bridge is expected to continue throughout the winter.  Trail closures for the park in South Saint Paul are in place for the duration of construction. Paving for the parking lot at Lilydale Pool & Yacht Club was complete. Photos can be found here: Trail Segment D & Trail Segment A

November 15, 2019
Paving for the roadway, trail segments, signage, and cleanup efforts are underway for trail segment A.  Work will wind down in this area for the season and completion of any remaining work will begin back up in the Spring.  The trail remains closed for the duration of construction until all sections for Segment A are complete.

November 1, 2019
Concrete flatwork for pedestrian ramps, sidewalks, and curb/gutter were installed in Lilydale for Segment A.  Clearing of trees and brush for Segment D began in the Southport Industrial Area, north of Barge Channel Rd.  This area will provide access along the trail alignment for construction of two boardwalk bridges through the wetland this winter.   Photos of construction can be found here: Trail Segments A/D

October 25, 2019
Grading for roadway, median, and trail are underway.  Crews completed curb & gutter underneath the Railroad bridge and for the parking lot.  Photos of construction can be found here:  Trail Segment A

October 17, 2019
Crews are continuing to clear brush and trees along the trail alignment for segments D & E in preparation of pedestrian and boardwalk bridge construction this winter.  In Lilydale - storm sewer, utility, and grading/aggregate base work is moving along.  Photos of construction can be found here: Trail Segments D/E & Trail Segment A.

October 10, 2019
Construction of the Robert Piram Regional Trail is underway!!  Crews broke ground in mid-September, 2019 and are expected to continue construction work through Fall 2020.  Construction of Trail Segment A is currently in progress, located in Lilydale.  This segment will connect the existing Big Rivers Trail to the trail in Lilydale Regional Park.  Please note the trail from the Big Rivers Trail parking lot into Lilydale Regional Park is closed during construction.  There has also been some tree and brush clearing underway in South Saint Paul in preparation for Trail Segments D & E and the pedestrian bridge which will connect to Kaposia Landing.  Construction photos can be found HERE

May, 2019
Both City and Dakota County have continued work with project partners and stakeholders to secure necessary right-of-way for the trail project.  It is anticipated that the project will go out for bid late spring/early summer 2019.

August, 2018
The project reached a milestone this summer in completion of final construction plans for the trail.  The City of St. Paul and Dakota County will continue to work with project partners and stakeholders this fall to complete specifications and have the project be in a position to begin construction Spring of 2019. Plans and specifications will be available following a bidding process when the project is advertised for construction. Project One-Page Update

March, 2018
Trail design and engineering has continued to progress, with the project approaching 95% construction documents.  The City of St. Paul and Dakota County continue to work with project partners to advance design in an effort to keep plans for the trail moving forward.  Working towards a common goal of providing this important regional trail connection, 100% plans are anticipated to be complete summer 2018.

September 1, 2016
Trail design and engineering has been ongoing and many of the major trail obstacles or issues have been either resolved or the options have been narrowed to a smaller set. Updated information on the proposed trail alignment and other proposed trail features will be displayed in an exhibit at the Saint Paul Classic Bike Tour on Sunday September 11th.  Once again, the design team is inviting public review and comments on the progress of the trail design. We will be collecting feedback and comments on the trail including opinions or suggestions on landscaping, site furnishings, trail wayfinding locations, interpretive elements, opportunities for public art, safety concerns and the overall trail experience. Please stop by and see the design progress. Look for the City of Saint Paul Parks Table at the start of the tour. 

April 28, 2016
The Public Open House was held on April  26th at the Wellstone Center. Public attendance was very low but a few comments and concerns were collected and will be used to continue the preliminary engineering. Comments and concerns can be submitted to the Project Manager, Don Varney.
On April 17 the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Chris Coleman approved Council Resolution RES 16-3, officially re-naming the Harriet Island to South St. Paul Region Trail to the Robert Piram Regional Trail to honor Robert Piram for his many years of service to the City of Saint Paul including 26 years as the Superintendent of Parks.

April 14, 2016
The Public Open House has been Re-scheduled for Tuesday, April 26  5:00-7:00 pm. Wellstone Center 179 Robie St. E.  St Paul, MN 55107

April 1, 2016
The Public Open House (originally scheduled for April 14th) has been postponed and will be Re-scheduled. The new date for the Open House will be posted on this Web page and additional public meeting notice will be provided by other means.  

February, 2016
Preliminary engineering is underway and calls upon the expertise of a multi-disciplinary design team lead by TKDA and including Hoisington Koegler Group, HTPO land surveyors, Braun Intertec, geotechnical engineering, 106 Group-site-historic and interpretive opportunities and Seitu Jones-public artist. Detailed site information has been gathered and incorporated into a project base map that will be used to develop the precise alignment and details of the trail. The first public review / open house has been rescheduled for April 26th at the Wellstone Center ( see ‘Meetings’) where the public can participate in an open house design review and comment on the features of the proposed trail design. 

Last Edited: May 6, 2022