SYRACUSE — The Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee has received a preliminary estimate for the cost to construct a nearly one-mile long trail segment that will include a boardwalk across the Conklin Bay wetlands and a trail parallel to SR 13, to Grandview Drive.
The vision of the committee is to have trails connecting communities around Syracuse Lake and Lake Wawasee. Back in 2007 the committee wanted to connect the town of Syracuse to Lake Wawasee by building a trail right next to SR 13, from Harkless Drive to the Sleepy Owl, for $2 million. INDOT did not give permission for this trail. Now, nine years later, the committee will be constructing a trail, including a boardwalk through the Conklin Bay wetlands, for $1.7 million.
This trail will safely connect people to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and communities further south on Lake Wawasee, and be a destination in its own right. On WACF’s property, trail users will be able to access the Levinson-LaBrosse Lakes and Wetlands Education Center and three miles of trails featuring views of wetlands, wooded areas and the lakeshore. While on the boardwalk, walkers and bikers can expect to see a wide variety of birds and plant life found only in northern Indiana wetlands.
Trails Director, Megan McClellan says “We plan to start construction on this amazing trail as early as Spring 2017, but that depends on how quickly we are able to raise the necessary funds.”
The preliminary cost estimate of $1.7 million includes construction, oversight and future maintenance. So far the trails committee has raised approximately $200,000 through a generous donation by the Miller Family Foundation as well as many smaller, individual donations.
Those who would like to donate to this or any project on the Syracuse-Wawasee trails, donations can be mailed to the Syracuse-Waweasee Park Foundation, 1013 N. Long Dr., Syracuse, IN 46567. Individuals can also donate on-line through the trail’s secure website where people can also sign up for a quarterly newsletter. To keep up to date on all the latest trail happenings “like” them on Facebook.
The Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee is part of the Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation. The committee is a volunteer advisory group helping coordinate the planning, construction and maintenance of local trails located on city and county property.