SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Because of the pandemic people want to get outdoors and the Sioux Falls Bike path is busier than its ever been.
Many who have never experienced the bike path are hitting the trail as the weather warms up.
Before COVID hit, trail counters at 5 different locations showed about a million people a year are riding, walking and rollerblading on the bike path.
Since the pandemic, use of the bike trail is up by 200-percent, according to Sioux Falls Parks & Rec.
Every year portions of the 29 miles need repairs. This year crews are replacing an old concrete pathway that was heaving and pretty rough in spots in Falls Park, along with repairing the city is expanding the trail.
Adding 5 to 6 miles of new trail over the next 5 years in the Cherry Creek corridor and along the Big Sioux River.
After that, the grand vision is to connect to Tea, Harrisburg and Brandon. Under the plan the Sioux Falls bike path will become a regional metro system of trails.
“In the next 5 to 6 years we are going to be moving out closer to those other communities we have the trail going along the big Sioux River that we hope will eventually be connected into the Big Sioux Rec Area in Brandon and make that connection,” Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation director Don Kearney said. “As we continue to move south towards Harrisburg and Tea we’re just going to have more opportunities.”
David and Andree Johnson ride the trail a lot, they’re excited about the planned expansion.
“I think it would be so much fun, I mean we’ve gone around this tons of times both ways you see something different and enjoy it but imagine if it’s going to Harrisburg, or Brandon, Tea it would be that much better,” Andree said.
“I think it would be real interesting there, that trek to Brandon would be nice journey so we are looking forward to using it in the future,” said David.
“As we continue to get closer to those other communities those conversations will probably ramp up to really try to meet in the middle so to speak, to see if we can’t make those connections. Its going to take cooperation from all these different entities isn’t it?” Kearney said. “Yeah, the other cities, the county the state probably will all be involved in trying to help us achieve that goal.”
Construction of the Cherry Creek addition to connect Family Park will begin this fall. Next will be the addition of a trail from Lien Park to Great Bear.
Maps of the bike trail are available on the city’s website here.
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