When I moved to Fort Wayne in 2002, the city was beginning to invest in and develop our trail system. Now, just ten years later, the effort has been consolidated through the formation of Fort Wayne Trails, and our community boasts over 70 miles of connected trails, with more on the way. That’s quite an accomplishment, and it has become one of our most prized amenities, helping us build a vibrant and healthy community.
As a runner, I cannot easily capture the value of our trail system in words. They provide me with a safe and scenic way to stay healthy and active and connect me with other people and destinations. My favorite portion of the trail, dubbed the Maumee Pathway, extends from just south of my neighborhood near Lakeside Park along the Maumee River to New Haven. It provides me with over 10 miles of uninterrupted trails through a quiet and beautiful portion of the countryside. The terrain is relatively flat, as well, providing the optimal landscape for long runs.
During the summer, my husband and I do our best to embrace something we call no car weekends. Because of how easy it is to access our trail system, we are able to get almost anywhere in the city without traveling by car, and we can do so safely because of the trails. Our favorite trip is to the Barr Street Market downtown via the Maumee Pathway and the River Greenway. When we are feeling particularly adventurous, we hop on our bikes and make the trek through downtown to the Towpath Trail, which offers several winding miles through breathtaking plains and wetlands and gives us access to the Southwest side of town.
Because of the investment our community has made in our trail system, residence now have a safe place to walk, run, and bike. It’s amazing how connected our city has become as a result, and not just physically. While biking or running on the trail, everyone you meet greets you with a smile and a friendly hello… how often does that happen in traffic?
Fort Wayne Trails truly is improving lives, one trail at a time.