The Jacksonville Parks and Lakes Department announced today that the 2nd phase of the North Trail is now complete and open to the public.
Lake Jacksonville closes for the season one week from tomorrow on October 16th, but the parks and lakes department is encouraging residents to visit the lake this week to see the new addition and enjoy the fall weather.
Kelly Hall, Director of Community Development and Recreational Facilities is glad that the completion came before the end of the season.
“I wish we had more time, but at least people can get out there and take a look at it before we do close. So far the enthusiasm and comments we have had about the project have been fantastic, everyone likes what we have done so far.”
Golf carts, bicycles as well as pedestrians are welcome on the trail. Hall Said that everyone should be able to share the trail equally.
“It helps our senior population out there to be able to utilize the trail as well. The trail is actually a ten foot wide asphalt surface, so everyone should be able to share the trail and all enjoy it.”
Parking is available at the trial head on point 1 and handicapped parking is available at the main dock parking lot.
The east half of the trail will be open during the winter season. Hall said that the west half is closed during this time, however the east end is open for everyone to enjoy over the winter.
“That is the part that starts at point 1 and meanders through the camping areas and ends up at the first turn off on the lake road. We do have it gated there in the off season, because we do allow deer and duck hunting on that end of the lake, so we don’t want to allow people down in that area during that time.
We want people to be able to go out on the east side during the winter, you know you can walk a good mile of it back and forth and have a nice surface, and it’s pretty up here in the winter, so people can utilize that if they wish.”
Parking for winter usage of the east half of the trail is available at the main dock parking lot.
This second phase completes the trail project, although Hall said that the city is hoping to continue the trail in the future.
Currently the trial ends at the spillway, and the city is exploring the acquisition of a grant to help fund a pedestrian bridge for crossing the spillway, which would allow the trail continued development farther around the lake.