By Phoebe Muthart
Construction of the Conklin Bay Trail began Oct. 13 and will be completed in the spring.
The trail will consist of one-third of a mile of boardwalk over the Conklin Bay and Rolland Conservation Area wetlands and continue south with a concrete sidewalk for two-thirds of a mile along the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation nature preserve and end at North Grandview Drive in Syracuse.
Completion of this important trail segment runs along SR 13.
“The new trail will finally allow lake residents and their guests living on the south half of Lake Wawasee to walk, jog and ride bikes safely to town to enjoy eating at restaurants, buying groceries and shopping with local merchants,” said Robert Smith, a member of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee.
Also, the trail will connect with an existing 11-mile trail system providing greater safety and incentive for personal exercise and well-being. The new Conklin Bay boardwalk section and observatory viewing areas, which transverse through a cattail-wetland marsh area, will offer nature enthusiasts the opportunity to observe and enjoy nature and waterfowl, all within a natural lake ecosystem.
Trail construction is continuing during the winter with minimal impact helical piles being drilled into marsh area soils, which support galvanized steel frames holding the composite boardwalk planking.
The boardwalk will have several observation platforms to allow for lake viewing and, depending on the severity of the winter weather, completion of the trail could be as soon as May 1.
For more information or to donate, call (574) 675-6433 or visit www.syracusewawaseetrails.com.