WAITE PARK -- The dream of extending the Lake Wobegon Trail into the St. Cloud metro area is about to be realized.

After four years of grant writing, fundraising and negotiating right-of-way, the project is in the final stages of planning. Stearns County Parks Director Peter Theismann says they now have the necessary land and will be going out for bids soon.

Theismann says Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment grants are a big help in paying the $4,800,000 cost.  St. Cloud and Waite Park were key team members in pledging $200,000 each.  Local contributions helped put the project over the top with Bernick's Companies pledging $20,000 and a community member also giving $5,000.

Theismann is hoping to start construction in August or September once the permits are approved and the bids are accepted.

Once completed, the trail extension will run an additional 3.2 miles from where it currently ends in St. Joseph into Waite Park's River's Edge Park.