Rogers County Cyclists Excited For First Trail System

Tuesday, August 2nd 2016, 10:59 pm
By: News On 6

Rogers County is getting its very first trail system; a 12-mile trail for cyclists and pedestrians will stretch from Claremore to Catoosa.

The trail will start in Claremore, on Route 66, and end by the Hard Rock Casino.

People are excited and say it's been a long time coming.

Jessica Wilbourn is about to join Claremore's cycling group for the first time. She's always been a runner, finishing her first half-marathon in April.

"And I thought, while we're at it, why not take up cycling and see if we can accomplish a triathlon," she said.

She said training hasn't been easy because, right now, she thinks Rogers County is not bike- or pedestrian-friendly.

"There's potholes and things that you kind of have to worry about all the time - jumping up and down off of curbs, and all that stuff in the dark," she said.

But Larry Curtis, director of Rogers County’s planning commission, said that's about to change.

He and his team applied for a grant to build a trail system and got it.

The entire trail will be about 12 miles long. The bicycling route will run alongside the highway with its own bike lane. There's also a 1.2-mile multi-use trail along Route 66.

Curtis said Rogers County is growing faster, per capita, than any other Oklahoma county. And one thing new homeowners want most, he said, is a trail system.

"Using their feet, using the bike trail program is going to both be healthy,” Curtis said. “And we encourage our citizens to be healthy - this will give them an opportunity to do so."

Wilbourn said, "Citizens are really trying to get together and focus on our health and set goals for ourselves, so this is super exciting."

This is a million-dollar project, and the federal government is paying for 80 percent of it.

Construction should start next summer.