The county now owns the Pennsy Trail section between 400 West and 500 West. This property was made possible by Department of Natural Resources, The Town of Cumberland, Washington Village Apartments, and the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation.
Part of this 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 groups this spring to work on the trail and the trail head at 400 West. The trail was cleared at the 400 West trail head and a walkable path was cleared. INDOT provided support by spreading gravel for the trail head. The trail head is 56 feet wide and 123 feet long, enough space for 10 cars to park.
The trail was cleared by members 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.
The next step is to pave the trail as a multi-use trail for walkers, runners, riders, strollers, roller bladers, and other non-motorized toys. This trail will be an asset to this community as a safe place to enjoy the out of doors.
A federal transportation grant has been awarded for this section of trail construction and is expected to arrive in 2020. We have a 20% match in funds to raise to be able to receive this grant. Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation has pledged a significant amount towards this match but there is still over $86,000 left to raise.
Donations can be made to the nonprofit 501c3 group of Pennsy Trails of Hancock County Inc. at PennsyTrails.org. 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 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 23rd 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 web site for more info. PennsyTrails.org.