Trail system around Lake Miola is complete

MIAMI COUNTY REPUBLIC

PAOLA — The Paola Pathways trail system now features more than 13 miles of trail and bike lanes throughout the community, offering off-road options for pedestrians and bicyclists.

During the summer, the final section was added to Lake Miola Trail, which fully encompasses the lake with more than seven miles of limestone trail.

“The final section of trail was installed on the east side of the lake stretching from Lakeview Trailhead south and connecting with existing trail,” said Peg Wieland, Community Outreach Coordinator for the task force. “Previously, the gravel roadway in the Lakeview picnic area had doubled as trail but was difficult to maneuver by runners and bicyclists.”

The completion of the lake trail system has been no easy task.

“This phase has literally taken many twists and turns over the past five years,” Wieland said. “Ground was broken on Phase 2 back in the fall of 2015, and it feels good to be able to say that construction is now complete. Of course, maintenance is an ongoing process — especially after multiple flooding events this year. We are grateful to the city of Paola for their perseverance in trying to keep up with what Mother Nature throws at us.”

Paola Public Works employees were busy Thursday, Sept. 12, installing kiosk signage at each of the six trailheads. The signs provide users with a detailed map, descriptions and mileage breakdowns of the trail, Phase 2 donors list (showing contributions of $100+), trail etiquette recommendations and a brief history of the project.

The Paola Pathways task force is celebrating eight years together and the completion of Lake Miola Trail by hosting a Paola Chamber of Commerce coffee at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at the Pirate Ship Trailhead located on the west side of the lake near the campgrounds.

“We encourage the public to attend and help us honor our major sustaining sponsors and all those who have sponsored other amenities along Lake Miola Trail,” Wieland said.

Additional information about the trail system is available on the revamped Paola Pathways website at www.paolapathways.org.