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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Kent pedals toward a new hike and bike trail

Matthew Brown
The Portage Hike & Bike Trail spans 13 miles along the Cuyahoga River and provides a place for trail goers to hike, bike, or canoe. Photo taken April 10, 2023.

Earlier this month, the Kent City Council voted on a proposed extension to the hike and bike trail that will cover areas ranging from Longcoy Elementary to Roosevelt High School. The vote was unanimous, officially giving the green light for the project. 

City engineer Jim Bowling said the current hike and bike trail has had a big impact on the community.

“The trails improve the quality of life of residents, but it’s also the idea of walkability and bikeability that creates a more sustainable community,” he said.

Currently, there is about five miles of trail which is under the hike and bike category. With the new trail running between schools within the Kent City district, it would allow students a safer way to either bike or walk to school. 

“From what we’ve heard from residents over the time I’ve been here, one of the things the community values is being able to walk or bike in meaningful ways,” Bowling said.

While the new trail has caused excitement for some, it won’t completely come into fruition for a while yet. 

Since he has been working in his position since the initial Portage Hike and Bike Trail was being constructed, Bowling has the knowledge of what to expect when making a new trail. 

“The Portage [trail], which was started in 2008, is still not completely finished. If all goes well, it’ll be developing over the 15 to 20 years,” Bowling said. 

While the completion of the new trail seems like a long-game, the benefits it will provide to the community will be worthwhile. With the trails running all throughout the county and offering interactive features, it makes the trails one of the area’s most prominent features. 

The trails that are already available for Kent State’s students provides an easy way to take a break from the chaotic college lifestyle. On warm days, the areas in Downtown Kent are filled with not only Kent citizens but Kent State students as well. 

“The city’s continuing to work to make Kent more pedestrian and bike friendly and community overall, which means trying to make it safer to walk in and bike in,” Bowling said. “We hope they enjoy the things that have been done already to make the community more walkable and bikeable.” 

In a continuous effort to create a safer and more sustainable environment, the trails have more of a purpose now than ever before. While the new trail may take some time to complete, the trails that are already in use will continue to serve the community. 

“We want the entire city to be like [enjoying the trails]. You can leave your house on bike and be able to get to those trails, the schools and parks downtown and feel comfortable on your way,” Bowling said.

Lauren Vaughn is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Matthew Brown, Photo Editor
Matthew is a junior photography major. He has a passion for photography and traveling. Contact him at [email protected].

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