A potential 90-mile trail along the Wabash River would include the section of the river that passes through Cass County. However, that possibility is still in the conceptual stage.

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) awarded the Wabash River Enhancement Corp. (WREC) a $35,000 planning-to-plan grant to study the potential of a 90-mile pedestrian and biking trail.

The trail would pass through five of the 10 counties WHIN serves.

“WREC and community leaders from Warren, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Carroll and Cass counties are working with Indianapolis-based engineering firm Kimley-Horn to evaluate potential scope of work and development of a detailed plan,” according to the press release announcing the plan on Monday.

The project’s next phase would include collecting information about resources along the route, mapping potential routes and getting input from residents and leaders from Covington, Williamsport, Attica, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Delphi and Logansport, it continued.

The trail would ultimately connect all 10 counties of WHIN’s region — Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.

It would do that by looking at where the Wabash trail can connect to or incorporate others, including the existing trails and paths along the Wabash in Logansport and any trail extensions that have been proposed before.

The plan that comes out of the grant will include a list of priority connections that go into other areas, including the previously proposed pathway to France Park.

“Existing trails and facilities would be included in the corridor master plan with recommendations calling for improvements, extensions/connections to/from, etc. as identified through the planning process for those facilities. In Cass County this would include the existing and planned trail systems, such as Little Turtle Greenway and plans for connecting to France Park and the Panhandle Trail,” WREC Executive Director Stanton Lambert stated by email.

Lambert also stated that the study would identify pilot projects to go to the design phase and be ready to implement, and it may include the completing of a pilot project.

The main trail and its connections would be “a world-class amenity that would increase regional connectivity and quality-of-life, which are primary goals of WHIN’s Regional Cultivation Fund,” the press release stated.

WHIN has awarded $1 million in grants from its $10 million Regional Cultivation Fund towards projects.

Last week WHIN awarded a $242,769 grant to its 10 counties for a study of how to get broadband internet to rural areas in the form of wireless and fiber technology.

In Cass County, the broadband study would look at the area along U.S. 35 in the rural areas north and south of Logansport. The North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council will administer the grant and two-year study and potential beta test sites.

“This first of five rounds of funding (generously provided from a larger $38.9 million regional grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.) will increase education, vitality and connectivity throughout WHIN’s 10 counties,” the press release stated.
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