A new Challenge Fund will provide a dollar for dollar match up to $80,000 for any donations made between now and the end of September to complete the Conover-Phelps Trail. Donate now!
“It is a critical time for donors to help complete the trail, and donations received now will have twice the impact in getting that done,” says Jeff Currie, coordinator of the trail’s Homestretch Campaign.
Only 1.9 miles of the Conover-Phelps Trail are left to be built, and all funding needs to be lined up soon to bid the project out this year. Less than $200,000 is needed to meet that goal.
A recent $80,000 donation by Jennifer and Marty Flanagan of Big Sand Lake in Phelps and Atlanta, GA, allowed the campaign team to set up the match.
“Now more than ever, completing this project will accelerate the economic revitalization of Phelps and the surrounding communities,” said Jennifer Flanagan. “We applaud the work Great Headwaters Trails has done to date to develop this unique family-friendly trail. The opportunity to spend time outdoors and engage with nature is more important than it has ever been. We encourage everyone to make a donation and become part of the community effort to complete the trail.”
Over the last four years, steady progress has been made on developing the 10.6 mile trail connecting downtown Conover to downtown Phelps. The westernmost 3.2 miles opened with a ribbon-cutting in May of 2016. Late the next year, the next 5.5 miles were completed, extending the trail to Song Hill Lane and CTH K in Phelps. Fundraising and special engineering to complete the last 1.9 miles at the Phelps end of the trail have been underway since then. (See a short trail video!)
Accessible but well away from state and county highways for most of its length, the trail traverses wetlands in the county forest and stretches of woodlands in the national forest as it heads from Conover to Phelps.
The last section will connect into downtown Phelps, extending along and apart from CTH K and E, passing a new trailhead north of Military Creek, and ending at a trailhead in Lakefront Pines Park at the eastern tip of North Twin Lake.
A bench at the rest area near Military Creek will give special recognition to all those whose donations this summer help meet the $200,000 Homestretch Campaign goal.
Wally Beversdorf, a former county supervisor and Phelps town supervisor, agrees with the Flanagans. “I’ve already contributed to the trail, but I’m making an additional donation this month to take advantage of the Flanagan Challenge. It’s been good to see the trail progressing over the years, and I want to see it connect right into downtown Phelps.”
The Flanagans and Beversdorf encourage everyone to “Donate now and help complete the trail!”