New Pufferbelly Trail extension opens kicking off snow plowing initiative

A new segment of Pufferbelly Trail is complete and Wednesday Mayor Henry joined community leaders and business owners to officially open the trail route. This opening also kicks off the city's new snow plowing initiative this winter.

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 11:42 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- A new extension of Pufferbelly Trail is now open and you don't have to wait until it's warm out to use it.

"One of the problems we had in the past was that nobody used our trails in the winter because they were full of snow and ice and so on, but now we've put together a plan of where we're going to be plowing the trails, so if you do want to walk or run or bicycle in the wintertime, you're going to be able to do that," Mayor Tom Henry said.

The 2 mile extension from Washington Center Road to Wallen Road will allow locals who live in northwest Fort Wayne to ride their bikes all the way downtown to the numerous connections the trail provides.
It's one of Kevin Okleshen’s regular routes.

"During the winter months is very important. I get a little cabin fever living in Indiana. This is a great solution to get out and get some exercise," Okleshen said.

The trail is right next to the Cookie Cottage, and near his family and friends. He believes it's a good location where the trail will get plenty of use.

"I've got some friends and family that use them throughout the year. it's a great system."

This year Mayor Henry asked the Right of Way Department to begin clearing snow on trails. Each time it snows 3 inches or more, the trails that connect to many of the school areas will be plowed.

In total, the Right of Way staff will be plowing about thirty five miles of trails. With the greenways the Parks and Recreation plows, schools, and businesses that have plowing, winter trail usage is expected to increase.

About $600,000 were donated Wednesday at the ribbon cutting ceremony from Fort Wayne Trails and the state to help the city in their efforts in expanding trail usage.

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