Construction on Otter Tail County park to take place in 2024

Construction of a boardwalk, prairie restoration and trail construction for Phelps Mill Park could get underway in the summer of 2024, one year from now. This would follow repairs recently completed on the historic four mill.

“Our plans for 2024 depend on Otter Tail County obtaining needed grant money,” says Kevin Fellbaum, county Parks and Trails Director.

The proposed project includes the installation of several boardwalks in wetlands adjacent to the Otter Tail River and the construction of approximately two and a half miles of hard-surface and soft-surface trails.

Otter Tail County, in coordination with Houston Engineering, reviewed the mandatory environmental categories in accordance with rules established by the state of Minnesota.

The historic mill was built in 1889 and was designed to produce 60 to 75 barrels of flour per day. By the 1930s the railway was in place and it became easier for county farmers to ship their grain to Minneapolis. Phelps Mill went out of business in 1939.

In 1965 Otter Tail County purchased the mill and surrounding land as a recreational site. County board members, in 2019, approved the purchase of 71.8 acres of land just north of the current Phelps Mill Park. This more than doubles the park from the original 51.2 acres.