ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has received a national award for its planning for the Mississippi River Trail bikeway.

Minnesota was the first state to develop a plan for bicycling along the Mississippi River.

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The 800-mile route closely follows the Mississippi River through Minnesota — from the headwaters at Itasca State Park to the Iowa border. MnDOT says the trail passes through about 70 cities, 20 counties and two tribal lands. The entire trail extends 3,000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Bicycle and pedestrian coordinator Tim Mitchell says the trail connects existing highways and trails, and repurposes them for bicyclists. Businesses, elected officials, cyclists and road and trail authorities all contributed to the effort.

The award is from the American Planning Association.

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