First phase of 33-mile Wabash River Trail project receives state funding

The first phase of a $4.86 million project is set to expand the Wabash River Trail.

A press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) says they’ve approved Regional Cities initiative funding as part of the expansion for the proposed 33-mile trail along and near the Wabash River.

The project’s goal is to increase connectivity via the Wabash River Walk in Wabash, Huntington’s Forks of the Wabash trail network, and the Nickel Plate Trail in Peru. The Wabash River Trail will be an addition to the vast Northeast Indiana’s Regional Trail Network.

Once completed, IEDC President Elain Bedel says this project will be one of the premier trail destinations in the state, offering unique historical destinations highlighting the Wabash and Erie Canal Towpath.

“As Indiana continues to be recognized as a top destination for talent, we are working collaboratively to fight off population stagnation through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative,” she explains. “When the state and regions work together on projects like the Wabash River Trail, which will increase wellness and connectivity in Northeast Indiana, there is no limit on what Indiana can achieve in its future.”

The trail development is being spearheaded by local philanthropists who are donating additional funding and working together to help build the trail. But, President of the Wabash River Trail, Inc. Amy Ford the funding from the IEDC will make a difference.

“We are appreciative of the investment from the IEDC and the importance they place on trail development in our state,” she says. “The state of Indiana needs to continue to create unique and healthy places to live in order to attract and retain talent. Trails have proven to be a high value amenity when people choose to locate to a new community. We are excited to continue our efforts in the first phase of this project.”

Northeast Indiana was one of three Indiana regions selected to receive state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative, which will allocate a total of $126 million toward 100 quality of place projects.

Project planning and site work for the Wabash River Trail is currently underway and is expected to be completed by June 2018.