Grant will expand walking trail at rec center

Published 1:09 am Sunday, February 1, 2009

Walking trails are what Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said Troy residents ask him about more than anything else. Soon, they’ll have to ask no more.

After a $100,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Smith said construction will begin immediately on a three-mile walking trail that will surround the Recreation Center.

Now, Smith said there is already a 1.5-mile trail that was naturally made just by people using the land. But, the grant will allow the city to add another 1.2-miles to the trail and extend it into a natural wooded area.

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“Half will go through some very beautiful wooded property,” Smith said. “The plans are to build a wood bridge over some of the streams and a boardwalk over some areas so you can have a view of the nature without getting muddy.”

And, Smith said the trail already naturally in place will become part of the new trail, making it a longer area for people to walk, jog, bike or even rollerblade.

Smith said the engineering and surveying of the land will begin immediately, and once that is completed workers will begin construction. Smith said he hopes the total project will be finished within a year.

A portion of the trail will be surfaced with asphalt, and the half through the woods will be surfaced with a soil additive that matches the woods but is cushioned like asphalt.

Once that trail is opened, Smith said the other trail will connect to it, but it won’t have any new surface right away.

Instead, designers will just mark the borders so the trail will officially be part of the other.

In part of the city’s long-range plan, Smith said the remainder of the walk will be resurfaced. Also in the plan’s draft are to add a playground, pavilions, an amphitheater and the Miracle Field.

But for now, Smith said he is pleased this part of the plan will become a reality.

“I’m very envious of some cities that have walking trails, and I’m very certain when this is completed, it’s going to be something to be proud of,” Smith said.