The Minnesota Zoo is to begin construction on its Treetop Trail, which will see 1.25 miles of former monorail track repurposed as a pedestrian walkway. Scheduled for completion in summer 2023, the trail will see guests explore hundreds of acres of hardwood forest, wildlife, and wetlands from 32 feet in the air.
The scheme was designed by Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects, who began feasibility work on the project in 2016, including appraisals of the monorail track’s structural capacity. The architects gave particular attention to five so-called “touch-down” points from which visitors would access the trail.
“These points should hint at what will be explored on the trail and invite visitors to explore nature,” said the architects as well as serving as amenity stations with clear paths to dining, programs, and exhibits.
The design of the scheme was inspired by the New York City High Line, which saw a comparable 1.45-mile…