New hiking and biking trails open around Lake Jacksonville

By Blake Schnitker on August 15 at 12:33pm

Jacksonville City officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning at Lake Jacksonville.

Over the past several months, The Parks and Lakes Department of Jacksonville has been working on designing walking and hiking trails around Lake Jacksonville.

And today, years of planning and months of construction, Community Development Director Kelly Hall and several other colleagues officially unveiled the new trails.

Hall says that it’s been a lengthy process of developing plans and eventually creating the trails.

“Over the last few years there’s been a lot of talk about trails in this area, so we put our heads together and decided we were going to make a couple. It’s been an all summer long project, we met out here on April 11th and just started through the woods marking the trail out with tape and it’s evolved to this. There’s been several people that have been a part of it, especially the park crew and the Department of Corrections. It’s been an ongoing project, we were just able to devote time to it this summer and so we’re glad to have it done and open for the public,” says Hall.

Hall describes what the trails can be used for, and describes their terrain and difficulty level.

“These are hiking and biking trails, they’re about a mile and a half from start to finish. There’s actually two separate trails but you can do them both combined into one. They’re about a two out of five scale of difficulty, they’re fairly simple. There is a bridge and some hills up and down. There is a bit of an educational aspect. The second trail goes through an old homestead in a foundation that was left from the early 1800s, and there’s signs that describe the property, so there’s a bit of an educational aspect,” says Hall.

The new trails are free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Hall says the trails will be open in the spring and closed when the lake closes in the fall.

The two trails are named Crimson and Rocket, and the entry for both trails can be found on the south side of Lake Jacksonville, on the opposite side of the campgrounds and dock area.