Topeka (WIBW) - With views of the lake and a glimpse of swimmers, ball players, golfers and beautiful gardens, the Lake Shawnee trail is earning national attention.
The recently-completed loop around the lake was named an outstanding accomplishment in the field of parks and recreation by the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials.
Trail user Erin Henderson isn't surprised. She says she and her husband often come to the trail and feel it's one of the best places to run with a smooth, even surface and not too many hills. Not to mention, she says, that there are plenty of pretty sights to see, like the water and the flowers.
Shawnee County Parks and Rec Director John Knight says the trail makes a seven-mile loop around the lake.
Plans for the more than $4 million project, funded through a split of county tax dollars and grants, were launched in 2001. The last section of the main trail was finished this spring.
Knight says the trail is a reflection of all Lake Shawnee has to offer. He says the goal was not only to link all the facilities of the lake, but also to give the experience of the water. He says at several locations, the trail takes people right near the water as they make their way past the baseball and softball complexes, the golf course, the garden, the campgrounds and swim beach.
The connections are made along a paved path, with some gentle hills - the largest near the golf course on the south and the swim beach on the east. The trail takes you over the dam and includes three bridges. If you don't want to go all the way, quarter-mile markers track your distance, making it truly a trail for all abilities and interests.
Future plans call for adding shorter loops, which means more to discover each time you visit.
Experience the Lake Shawnee Trail:
Run for a Reason
9 am Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009
Lake Shawnee Shelter House #1 (West side of lake)
Benefit for Florence Crittenton Services
Entry Fee: $25