By Elisa Walker
The network of trails in Syracuse continue to add charm and character to the town, taking steps to connect and be available for everyone. While the trails continue to grow every year, there are some projects and events coming up this year.
The trail being implemented from Wawasee High School to Brooke Point Inn is planned for construction to start this summer. The sidewalk will go along Syracuse-Webster Road, connecting several large housing areas to the high school and elementary school. The purpose of the trail is to give kids a safe way to walk and bike to school.
Another project is one executive director of Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Megan McClellan is excited about. After working on it for years, McClellan explained the Conklin Bay boardwalk will be constructed from Harkless Drive, stretching across the wetlands, to connect to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation. It will run parallel to SR 13, but without the dangers of fast traffic and blind curves.
“That will be a great addition for drawing people in off the highway, but also for people who live here so they can safely go around 13,” said McClellan. “The boardwalk will be fantastic and let people walk or bike.”
While not all the funds needed for the boardwalk have been raised, the park foundation accepted to move forward with construction as more than $1 million has been received or pledged. The rest of the money will be obtained through grants and donations.
“Lake Wawasee is the largest natural lake in Indiana. For people to come and be able to walk or bike around it while getting from place to place is very special,” McClellan commented. “We’re not there yet around Wawasee, but I’m looking forward to connecting a trail all the way around and include the Enchanted Hills community into the system as well.”
Along with upcoming and ongoing projects, the trails also host events that welcome visitors from all around to participate. While there are annual events, there are also several new events that can be viewed at www.syracusewawaseetrails.com.
Big upcoming events hosted by the trails include Tour des Lakes, a leisurely bike ride around scenic Indiana lakes Saturday, July 14. Last year had more than 320 riders participating in a 25K, 50K or 100K ride. Riders get the opportunity to enjoy the countryside while stopping along the way for snacks. After returning to the community center, there will be a get together with live music, a beer tent and food trucks. Proceeds from the ride will help the continued growth of the Syracuse-Wawasee trail system. To register online, visit www.tourdeslakes.com.
The third annual car show at Oakwood Resort will take place Aug. 5. The event is a fundraiser for the Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation to fund the continuance of trails around Lake Wawasee. The event invites people to have a good time with live entertainment and food vendors.
Syracuse-Wawasee Trails is a nonprofit organization. For those looking to assist the trails, volunteer and monetary donation information is available on the trails website or McClellan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. It also helps to spread the word to others of ongoing events they may be interested in participating in.