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Merry Christmas from Noble Trails

To some around Noble County, it may seem like the Fishing Line Trail that stretches just over eight miles from Kendallville to Rome City magically happened. But in reality, Noble Trails has invested a lot of time, money, and efforts into bringing this important asset to our community.

This project, which began as a grassroots effort about nine years ago, has raised money only through state grants and local donations. The work so far has been primarily focused on the former railroad corridor that runs from Kendallville to Rome City. In addition, the group has purchased or received donated land that allows the trail to continue from Angling Road near Carriage House Apartments all the way to Friendly Village.

So how much does it cost to build this trail? On average, Noble Trails’ board members say it costs them $100,000 per mile of 10 foot wide trail. But that amount only includes the labor and materials charged by the company hired to lay the asphalt, add the ADA compliant ramps that connect the trail to the roads, and backfill to finish it off. Many, many thousands more dollars and hours are donated by the board and its committees, who have taken their vision and brought it to life. Volunteers are using their own time, resources, and equipment to clear the land in preparation of where the trail will lead, and to maintain the trail by mowing, trimming, and clearing debris. They pick up trash, and fish out tires and old appliances that people have dumped in the woods. A local attorney donates his time and expertise to Noble Trails, while other trail supporters are skilled in website development, fundraising, marketing, accounting and more.

In addition to the cost to simply pave the trail, there are other fees associated with insurance, purchasing property, and property taxes that the Noble Trails fund must cover.

That’s why it’s so important that the community gets behind this group and the trails system it is building. Even as Noble Trails plans their expansion beyond Kendallville and Rome City, they are working with the City of Kendallville to extend the trail from Friendly Village along U.S. 6 to Kendallville’s Fairview Plaza Trail. To accomplish this, Noble Trails needs your help to keep the dream alive.

Noble Trails is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and as such, all donations are tax deductible. You can donate today through PayPal at (no PayPal account required). Donating here will help the group fund ongoing and future projects. If you would prefer to support the long-term care of the trail, a Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation of Noble County has been created in honor of Noble Trails President Dr. Terry Gaff, and donations can be made through the Foundation’s website. You can also email to ask how you can help. Donations via check can be sent to Noble Trails at 700 Lakeside Drive, Rome City, 46784.

Noble Trails is appreciative for donations of any amount, but some donations are eligible for special honors along the trail. Those include:

• Trail Master ($25,000 +) – donation recognized through an engraved boulder • Trail Blazer ($10,000 to $24,000) – donation recognized through an engraved plaque mounted to a park bench created from donated, recycled plastic bottle caps • Discoverer ($5,000 to $9,999) - donation honored on one of the metal whistle post mile markers that will be installed this spring along the trail

The trails may not be as busy this time of year, but the Noble Trails board isn’t slowing down as they work to put finishing touches on the current trails and make plans to add more. ‘Tis the season of giving, so they hope that you’ll be able to give a little or a lot to support these pedestrian and bicycle paths that encourage activity and improve the health and well-being of all who travel them.

Merry Christmas from the entire membership of Noble Trails, and a prosperous new year to you.

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