FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Leaders with the Summit City issued the following release in regards to Fort Wayne’s Trek the Trails:
Season five of Fort Wayne’s Trek the Trails — the free, guided community bike rides — begins May 6 with 28 rides planned through October 7.
Mayor Tom Henry started the rides as a way for residents to explore parts of the trail system that they may not be familiar with and to create social opportunities for families and friends to venture out in a guided tour. The rides have grown so popular that many times more than 100 riders turned out. Last year, nearly 1,900 area riders participated in Trek the Trails.
Growing Regional Interest
Trek the Trails has grown from Fort Wayne to a regional event in just five short years. Participants have come from nearby counties: Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley. They've even come from Niles, Michigan, Indianapolis and vacationers from Tarpon Springs, Florida.
“I’m glad so many local residents and even visitors are taking the time to explore the more than 80 miles of trails we have in Fort Wayne and Allen County,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It’s a great way to see our community in a way that you would not see it in a car.”
Don’t Miss the Kickoff Party
Trek the Trails will take bicyclists through all parts of the Community trails network – along the Rivergreenway, the Wabash & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the Aboite Trails, the Pufferbelly Rail-to-Trail, the Salomon Farm Trail and to New Haven’s Moser Park.
The kickoff event on Tuesday May 6th at 6 p.m. will include a 2 mile trek for walkers and an 8 mile trek for riders followed by a Trail Mixer at the Salomon Farm barn with food catered by sponsor Don Hall’s Catering, and music by the band A Night to Remember. The event is free but Fort Wayne Trails is accepting $10 donations from those who might want to contribute to further projects.
Ride sponsors for the entire season include business partner, Summit City Bicycles & Fitness, along with Carson’s department store, the Downtown Improvement District (DID), Lake City Bank and Visit Fort Wayne.
Four additional mixers will be held on the second Tuesday of each month, including two with a food truck available and one sponsored by New Haven – Adams Township Parks & Recreation.
Helmets are strongly encouraged for safety.
Trek the Trails is organized by the City of Fort Wayne Greenways Department and the non-profit organization, Fort Wayne Trails, Inc. Each Tuesday at 6 p.m., riders can enjoy a 6- to 8- mile ride in different geographic locations throughout the community. Beginning in June, on the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m., there will be a longer ride for more experienced riders.
Win a Bike
Each week during the season, participants can enter a drawing to win a bike from well-known bicycle manufacturer, Trek, and Summit City Bicycles & Fitness. The winner will receive a Trek FX 7.2 bike. Participants can register for the drawing at each ride they attend and the drawing will be held at the end of the season.
A City Committed to Trails
In 2005, the City of Fort Wayne Greenways Department was moved out of the Parks Department and into the city’s Transportation Department in the Division of Public Works. It was clear that trails and greenways were no longer just for recreation. The push toward active transportation was important to growing the City’s trail network.
Before the move, Fort Wayne only had 20 miles of trails. Since then, the City staff built and funded an additional 28 miles of trails and partnered with local grassroots organizations to expand trail connectivity. The boom caught on county wide as groups like Aboite New Trails raised grassroots funds to build trails in specific geographic areas to compliment the City’s commitment.
Today, the City of Fort Wayne is responsible for the maintenance of 73 percent of the 81 miles of trails in Allen County. The City maintains 59 miles of the trail network.
City Greenways staff members – Director, Dawn Ritchie, and Assistant Director, Amy Hartzog — bring a passion and expertise that is recognized nationally.
A Great Partner
Created in January 2011, Fort Wayne Trails, Inc. is a dynamic, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing our vibrant and healthy community through the development of an ever-expanding multi-use trail network. The organization’s inception is the result of merging three area non-profit trails' initiatives – Aboite New Trails, Greenway Consortium and Northwest Allen Trails. Fort Wayne Trails, Inc. promotes the trails and raises funds to aid the future trail development. The City works closely with this valuable partner. For information or to donate to Fort Wayne Trails, Inc., please visit www.fwtrails.org.