Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Wilbur Wright Trail Opens in Henry County

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Health Communities of Henry County opened the recently completed Wilbur Wright Trail.

The 2.6-mile asphalt multi-use trail was constructed by Healthy Communities of Henry County with help from a $1.3-million Next Level Trails (NLT) grant. The award was announced by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb in April 2022 as part of the third grant round of NLT. “When Next Level Trails launched in 2019, it set a mission to provide greater connections between and within communities,” said Dan Borner, DNR director. “This new segment is the next step to providing greater connections across east-central Indiana, working toward making another important connection to the Cardinal Greenway, Indiana’s longest recreational trail.”

The new trail was built on former railroad corridor beginning at County Road 625 East in Blue River Township. The trail extends northeast through the town of Mooreland to County Road 525 North alongside State Road 36 where it ends. The trail is a part of a larger visionary trail network to connect to the existing Wilbur Wright Trail in New Castle, as well as to the Cardinal Greenway in Losantville. Key partners for the project include the Town of Mooreland and Henry County.

“As a state visionary trail, the Wilbur Wright Trail is an excellent example of how Healthy Communities of Henry County and our partners connect people and communities through trails,” said Jeff Ray, the organization’s trails director. “This 2.6-mile segment is helping us open new opportunities for families and individuals to enjoy the outdoors in the Mooreland area. We are only 2.12 miles from connecting Mooreland to the Cardinal Greenway in Losantville.”

As part of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative, NLT is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. The now $180 million program is administered by the DNR and facilitates critical trail connections within and between Hoosier communities. Including the Wilbur Wright Trail, 30 of the 75 NLT projects are complete, totaling more than 90 miles of trail built since the program’s inception. An additional 11 projects are under construction, with many more slated to break ground during the next year.

In May, Gov. Holcomb announced details for the fourth round of NLT, which will dedicate an additional $30 million to connect communities through more hiking, biking, and riding trails across the state. The DNR anticipates awards to be announced in December.

More information about NLT is at on.IN.gov/NextLevelTrails.