About this Event
A ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the Veterans Memorial Trail in Hebron, one of the first Next Level Trails projects to open, was held June 6 in conjunction with National Trails Day. The 0.9-mile asphalt multi-use trail was constructed by the Town of Hebron with help from a $302,956 Next Level Trails grant.
“Trails like this one are building a higher quality of place and space, connecting communities, and giving us another reason to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb, who recorded a special video message for the event. “We are proud to partner with you to complete this important trail project. And you should be proud, too, as one of the very first Next Level Trails projects to open. Today is the 76th Anniversary of D-Day and it’s also National Trails Day, so I can’t think of a better time to open this trail dedicated to our veterans.”
Hebron’s first trail is part of a regional effort to connect Hebron to Crown Point, following the U.S. 231 corridor. The route runs parallel to U.S. 231 from Tower Crossing on the west side of Hebron to the Lake/Porter county line, following an abandoned rail corridor. U.S. 231 is also called the Veterans Memorial Parkway, named for several war memorials built or planned along the route. The trail in Hebron will be the location for a planned Northwest Indiana Middle East Memorial dedicated to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to the regional Veterans Memorial Parkway effort, the new trail is also part of the route for two planned national trail systems, the American Discovery Trail and Great American Rail-Trail. The national trail systems routes are approximately 50% complete in Indiana and already attract regional and out-of-state trail users.
Veterans Memorial Trail is one of 17 Next Level Trail (NLT) grants awarded to communities and non-profit organizations through the NLT program in May 2019. The nearly $25 million investment announced by Gov. Holcomb will develop a total of 42 miles of new trail across Indiana, the largest infusion of state trails funding in Indiana history. As part of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative, the NLT program makes critical trail connections within and between communities. NLT is administered by the Department of Natural Resources.
The trail was developed by the Town of Hebron in cooperation with its Redevelopment Commission and Park Board. Key financial partners in the project include Greenline Landscaping/Excavating, Arcelor Mittal, and Harry Brown Trucking. The project also benefitted from the support of the Veterans Parkway Commission, the Friends of the Veterans Parkway, and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
In addition to this ribbon cutting, the DNR celebrated National Trails Day with trail clean-up efforts, hikes, and bike rides at several state parks.