Seekonk Runnins River Trail Project Complete
Walking and hiking enthusiasts have a new trail in Seekonk to explore. A new walking trail has been built connecting the trails behind the Newman YMCA and Seekonk Town Hall all the way to the Turner Reservoir loop and beyond. The Runnins River Trail Connection Project was finished at the end of December except for a few additions such as signage which will be installed in the spring. The trail offers residents increased recreational opportunities and pedestrian access to the YMCA and Town Hall, says Conservation Agent Jennifer Miller. Hikers will enjoy several unique elements of the trail including a pedestrian bridge crossing the Runnins River, a boardwalk and bog bridging. Bog bridges are walking surfaces over wetlands.
The project has been a successful collaboration between town departments and committees, says Miller. The Seekonk Land Conservation Trust and the Community Preservation Committee worked to secure funding to purchase the land. “Everybody is really excited about it. It’s been great having so much help. All the departments pitched in to help out,” Miller said. The Department of Public Works, Town Hall staff, Police and Fire Departments all came together to help haul in materials and build the bridge over the Runnins River.
The project was made possible when Seekonk Town Meeting in 2010 approved the purchase of 4.3 acres of land using Community Preservation Committee funds. Then in June 2015 Town Meeting approved additional Community Preservation funds for the trail construction. Together with private donations and state grant funding, a professional trail building firm, TrailBuilders, was hired to design, construct and install the new trail elements.
Work on the new connector trail, which is about a half mile, began in October. The trail begins at the end of the YMCA’s trail and goes along the Runnins River. A pedestrian bridge crosses the Runnins River so that the trail can connect to the parcel purchased in 2010. The trail then goes through the marshland and upland forest to Arcade Avenue where sidewalk can be used to reach the Turner Reservoir Loop trails. “It’s a neat section because it goes over the wetlands and the river,” Miller said. “It allows trail users to enjoy a bigger section of the trail.”
An official ribbon cutting for the new trail is being planned for early spring 2017 when the weather is warmer and signage has been installed on the trail.