New Trail Extension Brings MKT Closer to Home

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COLUMBIA- The new County House Trail extension is now open for use Columbia Parks and Recreation. 

This new extension connects MKT at Twin Lakes Park to an underpass beneath Stadium Boulevard at College Park in Columbia. 

The extension has been in the works for several years, and was an initiative of the city council and GetAbout Columbia. 

"For the money that was spent and the benefit that it presents for those living north of Stadium, as well as some areas south of Stadium ,its a project that was definitely determined to be a very high priority," parks superintendent Steve Saitta said. 

Construction began in 2010, and workers are putting finishing touches on lighting for the underpass, but the trail itself is complete. 

A unique design aspect of this project is its versatility to trail users— there are gravel and hard-top surfaces side-by-side on most of the 1.4 mile extension. 

Faculty, families and students at Russell Boulevard Elementary School are particularly excited about the new trail because it will allow many students who live across Stadium to begin walking and biking to school without having to cross a busy intersection. 

Mary Lamberson, a member of the school's Health and Fitness Committee, is thrilled about the new extension.

This committe hopes to raise awareness of this addition to the neighborhood. 

They host a fitness night once a month and the committee hopes to do an activity on the trail this coming spring when the weather warms back up. 

"As a school, we're excited about having the trail open up because it's been a barrier for our families that live across stadium. Even though it's relatively close to school, they haven't been able to walk or ride their bike and that's something we really promote," Lamberson said.