The county now has ownership of the Pennsy Trail section between 400 West and 500 West. This section of property was made possible by Department of Natural Resources, The Town of Cumberland, Washington Village Apartments, and the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation.
Part of the section of trail was open and walkable. Part of the trail was heavily covered with shrubs, trees, and invasive honeysuckle, and there was not a public trail access point.
The Pennsy Trail of Hancock County organized several groups this spring to work on the trail and the trailhead at 400 West. The trail was cleared at the 400 West trail head and also a walkable path was cleared. INDOT provided support by spreading gravel for the trail head. The trailhead is 56 feet wide and 123 feet long, enough space for 10 cars to park.
The trail was cleared by members and friends of the Pennsy Trails of Hancock County, Boy Scout Troop 244, Sugar Creek Firestation 42 and 45 from New Palestine, local community members, Hancock County INDOT, and members of the National Road Heritage Trail, NRHT.org.
This trail will be an asset to this community as a safe place to enjoy the out of doors. The next step is to pave the trail as a multi-use trail for walkers, runners, riders, strollers, rollerbladers, and other non-motorized toys.
A federal transportation grant awarded for this section of trail construction is expected to arrive in 2020. We have a required 20% match in funds to raise to be able to receive this grant. Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation pledged a significant amount towards this match but there is still over $86,000 left to raise.
Donations can be made to our non-profit 501c3 group of Pennsy Trails of Hancock County Inc. at PennsyTrails.org. 100% of your dollars goes directly to trail construction. You will receive a letter of thanks and a Fun Family Friend activity to do on the trail.
The Pennsy Trails of Hancock County is providing this fun activity as part of National Trails Day, annually held on the first Saturday in June. The activity will be available ongoing as a way of helping others learn how to use and care for their trail.
Other events to support this effort is to attend the New Pal Fest on Saturday, June 23 rd on US 52. Tee shirts will be available and a place to park your bike. NRHT is hosting a Hancock County bike ride on Saturday, July 14th. Check our website for more info. PennsyTrails.org.
By Mary Ann Wietbrock
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