Parks and Rec. connects mid-Missouri through trails
COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation led a 16-mile trail ride Saturday afternoon to try to increase trail use as transportation.
The entire trail system is longer than 26 miles, more than two miles of which the University of Missouri maintains. It runs through the Hinkson trail, Grindstone Creek trail, MKT trail and the MU Recreation trail.
The city and the university work together for various aspects of the trail system -- like adding mile markers in 2015. There was also a federal grant that paved part of the MU Recreation trail.
Janet Godon of Columbia Parks and Recreation says one goal is to show people the trail can be used for more than just exercise. In addition to leisure and fitness, Godon said the trail is for transportation.
Parks and Recreation has created an app to help with location, and trail guide maps are available at many of the large destination trails.
Future plans will add more miles to the trail, connecting a larger area with downtown Columbia. This includes linking neighborhoods with preexisting trails and renovating old portions of trail.
Current plans for trail extension includes connecting Perche Creek with nearby trails. Godon says eventually Cosmo Park will be connected, creating a roughly 30 mile loop around Columbia. She says this will bring people from all over Mid-Missouri to Columbia for work and tourism.
Funding for the trails that the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department maintain primarily come from the Park Sales Tax, which is up for renewal every six years. This is supplemented with money from Federal Grants, like the GetAbout Columbia grant, a partnership with the Public Works Department.
For more information on funding, trail maintenance and future projects, visit the Columbia Parks and Recreation’s website.