Regional Cities Initiative to Support Fort Wayne Trails

Regional Cities Initiative to Support Fort Wayne Trails

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support the continued development of the Fort Wayne Area Trail Network, specifically to build the Poka-Bache Connector — Indiana Visionary Trail through Fort Wayne, increasing wellness and connectivity in northeast Indiana.

“The Regional Cities Initiative is helping transform communities across the state into nationally-recognized destinations to live, work, play and stay,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “This trail expansion in northeast Indiana will support the region as it continues to attract top talent, increase connectivity, and encourage physical activity.”

This project will support the funding of four segments of trails, just over six miles located in the city of Fort Wayne, connecting with 33 more miles of planned trails, bringing the Fort Wayne Area Trail Network to 132 miles. The four trail segments in this project are:

  • Bluffton Road: Lower Huntington Road to West Foster Park/Rivergreenway Connector;
  • Pufferbelly Trail: Wallen Road to Washington Center;
  • Pufferbelly Trail: State Boulevard to Fernhill Avenue and Franke Parke/Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo; and
  • Pufferbelly Trail: State Boulevard to Fourth Street

These four segments will connect 22,688 residents within a half-mile of the trail and expand the existing trail grid for all residents. These trails will also assist in building the Allen County portion of the Indiana Visionary Trail, which will expand from Ouabache State Park in Bluffton to Pokagon State Park in Angola.

Total Project Investment: $9.54 million
State funding: $1.8 million

“We are thrilled to receive funding from the Regional Cities Initiative that will allow us to expand the Poka-Bache State Visionary Trail and our Fort Wayne Area Trail Network. These trails will bring connectivity to already existing trails and as we continue with leaders in Allen, Dekalb, Steuben and Wells counties to bring further connections to fruition,” said Dawn Ritchie, greenways and trails manager for the city of Fort Wayne.

“Every month we are seeing trail usage increase and, as more and more people use the trails, it drives our ability to succeed in getting additional local funding for more trails. In turn, our community is healthier and more connected because of the great access we have to a network of trails,” said Kent Castleman, executive director of Fort Wayne Trails Inc.