Our Town Beatrice: Trail System
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Beatrice recreational trail system is growing in popularity, and with ten miles of paved trails within the city limits, residents have plenty of options.
We recently visited with Amanda Kuhlman, who is the Community Relations Coordinator with the City of Beatrice. She says the city has been working on the local recreational trail system for 20 years. “Recently, we’ve added on a new section of trail, called the Pioneer Trail,” Kuhlman said. “It connects several amenities here in the city. It connects our water park, our YMCA, our Beatrice High School, and Hannibal Park where we have a lot of softball tournaments.”
There are a number of new features within the trail system. “One of those features is the Story Walk,” Kuhlman said. “If you’ve never heard of a Story Walk before, it’s a combination of a physical activity, and a literacy activity. How it works is, a children’s book is displayed along the trail on platforms. You read a couple of pages, move on, read more pages, and finally you have read the entire story. The Story Walk is maintained by the City of Beatrice, and our public library staff switches out the story every month.”
The city recently received a $50,000 donation from the Gage County Foundation, and that is being used to enhance the trailhead at the Chief Standing Bear Trail in town. “Another thing we are excited about is another Leadership Beatrice class project,” Kuhlman said. “They approached the city and would like to put some bike repair stations along the trails, along with some maps, just to make the experience even better. The city certainly hopes to expand the trail system, just to connect the community a little bit more. We do have ten miles of trails here in the city. Those are paved. In addition, our Public Properties Department also maintains about 18 miles of trails outside the city limits. The trails do get year round maintenance, and that includes snow removal.”
Efforts are also underway to improve water recreation opportunities, too. “River recreation is becoming more popular,” Kuhlman said. “We had a couple of groups and organizations approach the city and ask to put in a public river access point. People were going out on canoes, kayaks or tubes, and it’s really hard to find a good place to get in and out of the river, unless you know a private property owner in the area. We were able to pair up with some grants, and put in a public river access point. It’s accessible to anyone in the community. That was actually completed in November.” That public river access point is just south of the West Court Street bridge on the west bank of the Big Blue River.
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