September 12, 2017 - The Fort Wayne Regional Trail Network has taken a step closer to the 100-mile mark with the completion of the first phase of the Six Mile Creek Trail.
Today, Mayor Tom Henry joined Councilman Glynn Hines, McDonald’s Restaurant owner Ted Williams, New Haven/Adams Township Park Superintendent Mike Clendenen, neighborhood leaders, and trail advocates to cut a ribbon celebrating the completion of the trail. The Six Mile Creek Trail adds another mile to what will eventually be a 26-mile continuous loop linking the trail to the City of New Haven and Fort Wayne’s Rivergreenway.
“I continue to be encouraged by the progress and investment being experienced with our trail network,” said Mayor Henry. “We’re enhancing quality of life amenities that assist us in our efforts for more economic development opportunities, job growth, stronger neighborhoods and regional collaboration.”
“The trail indicates the city’s commitment to the southeast side and is another sign that growth is occurring on the southeast part of our City,” said Ted Williams, Owner McDonald’s Restaurant. “This is an important and safe connection for our customers and we see them using it every day.”
“The Six Mile Creek Trail offers great connection with more than 22,000 residents living within a half mile radius of the trail. It brings easy access to more than 80 businesses and organizations, and it connects to the Rivergreenway – offering further connection to destinations throughout the City and County,” said City of Fort Wayne Greenways and Trails Manager, Dawn Ritchie. “It also brings us closer to the milestone of having a100-mile Trail Network extending to many parts of Allen County.”
”Connecting people to destinations is a focus of the entire trail network. This link to start the Six Mile Creek Trail provides an important pedestrian crossing over US 27 and other great destinations to south side residents. Our organizational goal is to keep developing this trail until it connects to New Haven and all of the very important destinations in their community,” said Kent Castleman, Executive Director, Fort Wayne Trails, Inc.
Future phases of the Six Mile Creek Trail are planned to run east along Tillman Road to the Trier Ditch, which was historically known as the Six Mile Creek. The remainder of the loop will meander along the Trier Ditch and connect to the eastern end of the existing Rivergreenway in New Haven’s Moser Park.
The newly completed phase is a $1.6 million investment with the majority of the funding coming from INDOT and the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC) through Federal Highway Administration funding, $270,000 from the City of Fort Wayne and $100,000 from Fort Wayne Trails, Inc.
With completion of this phase of the Six Mile Creek Trail the trail network in Fort Wayne and Allen County grows to 98.7 miles. More than 100,000 Fort Wayne residents currently live within a half mile of a trail.
Be a Part of Our Milestone
A County-wide celebration for the 100-mile feat is being planned for November. Organizers are asking residents to share their memories and photos of them using our trails through social media. We’re hoping to collect photos of friends and families using our trail network through the decades from the 1970’s all the way through this year. In a network that mixes rural and urban trails, we believe trail users will share scenic photos, too.
Photos or short written memories can be posted on the City of Fort Wayne’s Facebook page or the Fort Wayne Trails Inc. Facebook page. We ask that you to use the hashtag -- #fwtrails100 -- when posting your photo or story.
All submittals will be entered into a drawing that will be held as we get closer to the 100 mile. The selected photos/stories will be shared and anyone who posts a photo will be entered into a drawing for prizes ranging from trail tee shirts to dinner to entry tickets for various events.
About the City of Fort Wayne Greenways and Trails
The City of Fort Wayne’s Greenways began as part of the Parks and Recreation Division. From 1975 to 2005, the Parks and Recreation Division built the 20-mile Rivergreenway. In 2005, as interest grew and more residents began using the trails, the current City Greenways and Trails Department moved to the Public Works Division, a fitting move as the community’s view of trails shifted from recreation to active transportation.
The move helped the City increase its trail miles from the 20 Rivergreenway miles to more than 77miles inside the City limits today. The City’s trails connect to New Haven and other parts of Allen County, creating a Fort Wayne Area Trails network of the 98 miles.
About Fort Wayne Trails Inc.
Created in January 2011, the mission of Fort Wayne Trails Inc. is to act as a community partner and advocate in the development of a connected, multi-purpose system of trails in Allen County. Fort Wayne Trails envisions a healthy, vibrant, and connected community enriched by a system of trails, roads, and pathways. Fort Wayne Trails partners strongly with municipalities to guide the prioritization, development and creation of trail expansion to benefit the community.
For more information visit fwtrails.org.