Over the summer an abandoned town road in Crawford was transformed into a walking trail. Now the town is hard at work on an expansion that would add two new loops to the trail and has submitted an application for state funds that would help cover the cost.
“It will more than double the size,” said Town Supervisor Charles Carnes.
Carnes said that once the project is completed, the trail will offer more scenic views and trail choices to the public than “just a straight line.”
The existing trail follows the path of the abandoned Ward Avenue, which stretched approximately 1.25 miles between East Searsville Road and County Route 17, crossing over the Dwaar Kill.
Presently, visitors can walk from one end to the other and return along the same route. Phase II of the project will create two new loops and add at least 1.5 miles to the walking trail. Construction has already started on the expansion.
“We always planned to enlarge it,” said Carnes.
Carnes stated that the town is working on getting the base down and he hopes to have the new sections paved next year, but admitted that the trail may initially be gravel, depending on the outcome of the town’s recent grant application for $40,000. The funding would go toward offsetting the paving costs.
Carnes said the state grant only recently became available and they thought it was perfect for their current project. They have submitted their application and are “hoping to hear back by the end of October.”
If awarded, the grant would be the second awarded to the project. Most of the paving for the first phase was covered by a $125,000 grant, awarded for paving and bathrooms.
The grant applications were prepared by Dan McCann, the town’s Coordinator of Safety and Security.
Once complete, the Ward Avenue Walking Trail will feature more than three miles of trail and a gazebo with scenic views of the town.
Carnes expects Phase II of the project to be finished and open to the public by next spring.
By RACHEL COLEMAN