The Indiana DNR, Next Level Trails and the Town of Colfax opened the recently completed Big 4 Trail extension in Clinton and Boone counties on Aug. 6.
The trail dedication was held as part of the community’s Old Hickory Days Festival. The 4.7-mile asphalt multi-use trail was constructed by the town with help from a $1,661,400 NLT grant. The new trail extends the existing Big 4 northwest from Thorntown in Boone County, to the Town of Colfax in Clinton County. The extension was built along and named after the old Big Four rail corridor. The project included a trailhead in Colfax and two repaired bridges.
“Next Level Trails was designed to connect communities and create regional trail systems” said Dan Bortner, director of the DNR. “The Big 4 is a perfect example of a trail that unites two counties to benefit its residents and create a regional asset that draws visitors.”
The new section is part of the regional Big 4 Trail that stretches from Zionville to Colfax. NLT is funding three additional projects along this corridor in Lebanon, Whitestown and Zionsville. When complete, the Big 4 will span nearly 30 miles and connect five communities in two counties, with plans to later extend northwest to Tippecanoe County and Lafayette.
“The Town of Colfax is thankful for the many partners that have made the successful completion of the Thorntown-Colfax section of the Big 4 Trail possible” said Liz Stitzel, executive director for the Clinton County Area Plan Commission. “Numerous residents use the trail on a regular basis, and Colfax looks forward to the economic development and recreational opportunities the trail has the potential to bring to town in the future.”
As part of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative, NLT is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. The $150 million program is administered by the DNR and facilitates critical trail connections within and between Hoosier communities.
The Town of Colfax was awarded funding for the Big 4 Trail extension as part of the first round of NLT, which Gov. Holcomb announced in May 2019. At 4.7 miles, the Big 4 Trail is the longest trail developed through the NLT program to date and the 10th project to be completed.
More information about the NLT is at on.IN.gov/NextLevelTrails.
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