Conklin Bay Boardwalk & Trail connects to Harkless Drive, and a concrete sidewalk leads to the entrance of the wetland’s boardwalk. Contributed image
Conklin Bay Boardwalk & Trail connects to Harkless Drive, and a concrete sidewalk leads to the entrance of the wetland’s boardwalk. Contributed image
SYRACUSE — The Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee recently announced the Conklin Bay Boardwalk & Trail is complete and open to the public. An official ribbon-cutting date will be scheduled later, officials stated recently in a news release.

“We want to have a ribbon cutting when we can have people in attendance, and this is not possible with the COVID-19 restrictions,” Kay Young, committee chairperson said.

The Conklin Bay Boardwalk & Trail connects to Harkless Drive, and a concrete sidewalk leads to the entrance of the wetland’s boardwalk.

The wetlands portion of the trail will consist of one-third of a mile of boardwalk over the Conklin Bay/Rolland Conservation Area wetlands and have three small overlook areas and one large observation platform, which will allow a better view of Lake Wawasee.

Several overlooks have Polywood benches for trail users and natural enthusiasts to sit, observe and enjoy a natural lake ecosystem, officials state in the news release. Helical piles were constructed and installed to elevate the boardwalk to minimize the effect on the wetlands.

The trail continues south, with two-thirds of a mile of concrete sidewalk, along Ind. 13, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation nature preserve, and ends at North Grandview Drive. The trail adds to the existing 11-mile trail system and allows residents on the south half of Lake Wawasee to walk, jog and ride bikes to town. An added feature of the trail is it connects to WACF’s Levison-LaBrosse Education Center, where users can explore three walking trails through preserved and reclaimed wetlands.

Parking is available at the entrance to WACF. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Conklin Bay Trail and Boardwalk, including golf carts.

The committee is still finalizing trail amenities and donor opportunities, such as bicycle racks, signage, dog waste stations, artwork for the entrance, donor arch, donor wall, donor bricks and more. Donor opportunities are still available by calling Erlene Yentes at 574-675-6433 or emailing ed@syracusewawaseetrails. com.
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