A donation from a Logansport family has allowed for the connection of more than 120 acres of outdoor city recreational properties.
The paved path making it all possible was recently finished, linking Huston Park, the Hervey Preserve and River Bluff Trail. It extends off the trail in the southwest corner of Huston Park on the city’s north side and heads west into the 35-acre Hervey Preserve, where it connects to its trail, which eventually leads to the River Bluff Trail along the Eel River.
Steve Sims; his wife, Heide; and his parents, Dick and Ann, contributed the funds for the trail.
Sims called the concept of turning abandoned rail beds into trails “a unique opportunity.” A passion for fitness runs in the family, he continued, going on to recall his participation in track and cross-country throughout his youth.
“We like the idea of rail trails as a safe way to get off the city streets and be able to promote health in the community,” he said of his and his family’s motivation for funding the project.
As Huston Park was being created several years ago, Sims said he became well aware of its proximity to the River Bluff Trail and developed a desire to ensure the two were connected.
He relayed that desire to his friend, Brian Morrill, one of the driving forces behind Huston Park.
Morrill said the connector project joined a list of local trail and park projects dating back to the late 1990s, which along with Huston Park includes the Logansport Hospital Foundation’s Hervey Preserve and River Bluff Trail and Mercedes Brugh’s efforts to connect River Bluff and the Eel River Run with the Cole Bridge in Riverside Park.
“This is kind of the culmination of about 16 years of putting all these different pieces together,” Morrill said.
The one piece that remained spanned about a third of a mile between Huston Park and the Hervey Preserve.
“The Sims Family Connector Trail is kind of the last piece of the puzzle that ties 125 acres of public land into one big connection,” Morrill said.
Vicki Byrd, vice president of Planning and Development for Logansport Memorial Hospital, said the local trails contribute toward residents’ health.
“The whole system, it’s really to support improved health for our residents — giving them an opportunity to have access to outdoor recreational areas,” she said. “It’s important for all of us.”