A trailing good time 

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    Bradley (left) and Charlie Shen ride their bikes at Quaker Park on National Trail Day. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Cole Berry (left), Estelle Stroup (center) and Alex Luginbill prepare to hopscotch with other kids at Quaker Park. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Cole Berry (left) and Estelle Stroup (right) prepare to hopscotch with other kids at Quaker Park. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Julian Alfaro (left) breaks a board held by Kristin Andrews (right) of the Midwest Tae Kwon Do Academy. It was one of several businesses present at Quaker Park for National Trails Day. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Hadley Ziether (left) rides her bike at Quaker Park through an obstacle course for National Trails Day. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Julian Alfaro (left) holds a board for Lt. Rory Gentry (right) of the Westfield Police Department. Uniformed bicycle officers were at Quaker Park with information and interacted with the community. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Alex Luginbill practices riding his bike through an obstacle course at Quaker Park. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Ava Nelson blows bubbles outside the booth for local business My Father's Garden. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Alex Luginbill, Estelle Stroup, Erin Luginbill and Cole Berry follow Lauren Tyler's instructions to sneak and crawl like animals. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Cole Berry (left) hopscotches with Estelle Stroup (center) and Alex Luginbill  at Quaker Park. (Photo by Sam Robinson)
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    Estelle Stroup (left) follows after Cole Berry on hopscotch. (Photo by Sam Robinson)

Westfield trails gain popularity for bikers, walkers

By Anna Skinner

 

Many across the nation celebrated National Trails Day in their own way, and for the first time, Westfield joined in.

Health vendors, kids on bikes and discussions on trails and exercise took place at Quaker Park on June 6 to celebrate and learn more about what the city has to offer when it comes to their trails

“Westfield has the most miles of trails per capita in the state of Indiana right now, which is awesome,” Emily Clark, special event coordinator for Westfield, said. “We’re really excited about promoting that today.”

There are 85 miles of trails throughout the city, including trails through Cool Creek Park, the Natalie Wheeler Trail, the Midland Trace Trail, the Anna Kendall Trail and the Monon.

Quaker Park is off of S.R. 32 and Dartown Road, and is the furthest northern point of the Monon trail. The Monon is prospected to be continued further north to encourage connections and an easy commute to Grand Park from Carmel and even Indianapolis.

National Trails Day brought many bikers and walkers out, and many of the vendors present focused around bikes and health.

“We have different booths all related to health, just different things that parents and families can walk around and see what’s going on in the community and how they can be more active and healthy,” Clark said.

All of Westfield’s trails encourage walking, running, bicycling and rollerblading. They are open from sunrise until sunset. Many of Westfield’s trails have amenities in addition the beautiful pathways and nature observations, including public restrooms, benches, dog waste stations, bike racks, drinking fountains and parking.

“It’s really exciting to be able to host National Trails Day in Westfield. Our goal ultimately is to be the best connected trail community in all of Indiana,” Melody Jones, parks director, said. “We don’t want our trails to be compared per capita, we really want to have the best connections and this is just an opportunity to show to everybody how fast and how well-connected we are.”

Jones said she believes there are a lot of trails in Westfield many have not even experienced yet. She suggested the connections with the Natalie Wheeler trail, on the east side, and how it connects with the west side of the city through the Monon as one of the trails people should experience. She said once the freeway is done, there will be no traffic interruptions on the entire trail. According to Jones, this connection is just a few months away. Plenty of enhancements and betterment for the trail system is scheduled for the future.

“Westfield’s trails system is second-to-none,” Jones said.

Westfield’s major trails

Monon Trail: 2.9 miles long on the Westfield portion, around Oak Ridge Road to 146th Street, allows connections with Midland Trace Trail, Anna Kendall Trail, Little Eagle Creek Trail and Cool Creek Trail and allows access through Carmel and Indianapolis.

Anna Kendall Trail: 2.1 miles, near 171st Street, connections with Cool Creek Trail, Grand Junction Trail, Natalie Wheeler Trail and Midland Trace Trail.

Midland Trace Trail: 1.5 miles long, close to Union Street, allows connections with Monon Trail, Grand Junction Trail, Anna Kendall Trail, Cool Creek Trail and Little Eagle Creek Trail and access to Old Friends Cemetery Park, Simon Moon Park and Quaker Park.

Cool Creek Trail: .9 miles long, near 151st Street and 146th Street Connections with Natalie Wheeler Trail, Midland Trace Trail and the Anna Kendall Trail, Street and allows major access to Cool Creek Park and Cool Creek Commons.

Natalie Wheeler Trail: 1.5 miles, from 156th Street to 171st Street, connections with Grand Junction Trail and Cool Creek Trail, allows access to Cool Creek Park, Liberty Park and Downtown Westfield.

About National Trails Day

What is it: A celebration nation-wide to appreciate the 200,000+ miles of trails in the nation.

When: First Saturday in June, this year the event took place on June 6

Activities across America: Many National Trails Day celebrations across the nation include hiking, horseback riding, health vendors, children’s programs, rafting and more.

All facts from nationaltrailsday.org.