Indiana News

$25 million in grants could bring trails near your home

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday morning a $24.9 million investment into better, easier trail access across the state of Indiana. 

The first round of money will go to projects in more than a dozen counties stretching across the state.

We’re talking 42 miles of new trails.

“The Next Level Trail grant application that we wrote will connect where we end today on Allison Lane, all the way down to Michigan Street,” Frank Merritt, president of the Speedway Trails Association explained Thursday.

The B&O trail is a labor of love for Frank Merritt and the Speedway Trails Association. This trail sprouts from more than 10 years of work.

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“We are ecstatic,” Merritt explained. “We’re happy.” 

They’re happy because Holcomb gave them a check for almost $5 million in grant money.

That money will extend Speedway’s B&O Trail with almost three miles of asphalt. It will also connect existing trail sections and even build a bridge over Eagle Creek by 2022.

“Connecting the downtown culture with the racing community of Speedway has been a vision of ours for a long time,” said Merritt. “This grant, this money, will help us achieve that.” 

This is all part of the governor’s Next Level Trails program.

Thursday, Holcomb announced the millions of dollars will be split among other trail projects in more than a dozen counties including Allen, Delaware, Carrol and Warrick counties.

“This is obviously not just a health initiative,” Holcomb explained. “This is an economic initiative. We’ve heard from so many folks who want to create a better quality of place, better quality of life. All the amenities that get connected to one another.”

The governor’s office said the Department of Natural Resources received grant applications for trail projects in 42 counties. So, more money for trails is on the way.

Three rounds of funding are planned.

So, when can your town or county apply for some of that money?

The DNR plans to announce the next funding application period sometime later this year.

Want to check and see if any of these new trails will be by your house? Click here for a list and description of trail projects, as well as a map of their locations across Indiana.