INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Gov. Holcomb announced the recipients of the second-round of grant awards from the state’s Next Level Trails program. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) supported the proposal to expand the Big Four Trail and wrote to Governor Holcomb advocating on behalf of the B&O Trail extension proposal.

Both proposals were successful, and the Big Four Trail will receive just over $4.3 million for improvement efforts in Zionsville and other areas of Boone County. The trail will be extended by 3.19 miles, new asphalt will surface 4.4 miles and new trailhead facilities will be developed where the former Big Four Railroad corridor intersects Zionsville Road. B&O Trail will receive over $4.5 million to extend the trail by 6.43 miles, complete an important connection with a new trail under development in Indianapolis by the Speedway Trails Association and develop two trailhead facilities in Tilden and Maplewood.

“I’m thrilled by the decision to allocate over $4.3 million for extensions and improvements of the Big Four Trail and over $4.5 million for extensions of the B&O Trail,” said Sen. Ford. “Our beautiful trails help make our community a world-class place to work, play and live, and they have been especially appreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It always makes me grateful to live in a community that offers such inviting outdoor amenities, and I enjoy being able to regularly take my dog, Stella, to enjoy these trails like many others. We are blessed to have such beautiful land around for us to explore and these grants will make these wonderful public trails even better for decades to come.

“I am endlessly grateful for Friends of Boone County Trails, the Boone County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boone County Council, Zionsville Community Schools and all of the individuals who contributed monetarily or with their time to make the Big Four Trail proposals successful. I’m also deeply thankful for Central Indiana Community Foundation, IU West Hospital, Hendricks Regional Health, Indy Gateway, Hendricks County Community Foundation, Hendricks Power Cooperative, Former State Representative Karlee Macer and all of the individuals who contributed monetarily or with their time to make the B&O Trail proposal successful. I also want to thank Governor Holcomb for prioritizing, in his own words, ‘these transformational investments in quality of life.’ The Big Four Trail projects will do wonders for the city of Zionsville, all of Boone County and the many visitors our community receives each year, just as the B&O Trail extensions will do wonders for Brownsburg, Hendricks County and Indianapolis.”


Pictured: Senator J.D. Ford walks with his dog, Stella, at B&O Trail in Hendricks County. The photo can be downloaded by clicking the image.