Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway runs 20 miles, connecting downtown Mineral Wells with Weatherford, running through one of the most popular state parks in Texas. Known as "Rails to Trails," the trail is a former railroad bed - a historic one at that - that was converted in the 1990s into a walking, hiking, cycling and horseback riding trail.
Owned and managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife, the trail is in need of repairs and improvements, but state funding and manpower fall short. Currently a portion the trail is closed because recent rains have washed the trail out and it could be some time before that damaged portion of the trail is repaired and reopened.
The trail has been identified as a key component in the revitalization efforts under way in Mineral Wells, especially in the downtown area where the Mineral Wells trailhead is located, running east through the business, residential and retail districts.
Through the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce and Envision Mineral Wells, a non-profit 501c3 "Friends of the Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway" is forming to raise funds and focus on repairs and various improvements along the Mineral Wells portion of the trailway to the state park. These will include repairs, adding lighting and maintaining the public right of way. Hopes are this will not only improve the look and use of the trail, but spur development and new business such as seen along many urban trails.
We want our club to be part of this important community effort through the non-profit organization "Friends of the Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway" and challenge other local organizations and businesses to match our grant.
The park system will be asking groups to adopt portions of trail to help keep it clean and maintained - similar to highway adoption programs - and we will adopt a stretch of the trail. Not only will we be responsible for keeping it looking good, we will add a bench with our club's name and logo for people to sit and rest on, and ensure the bench remains in good condition in the years to come.
We believe this is a good use of our grant funds and a way for us to get involved directly with an important effort connected to our city's economic reawakening and development.