The addition of the Niokaska Creek bike trail will add 3.31 miles to the Fayetteville bike trail system. Construction began this year and will end in late 2019, said Matt Mihalevich the City of Fayetteville trails coordinator.

The construction of this portion of the trail by Gulley Park has been in the works for 10 years and will include replacing and widening trails within the park. Construction will alternate between building the Niokaska Creek bike trail and the Gulley Park trails, Mihalevich said.

While the construction of the Niokaska Creek trail is a high priority, it was pushed back to construct trails that connect to Kessler Mountain park.

The Niokaska Creek trail is part of the transportation plan which was developed in 2003. The goal is to have a trail within a half-mile of every residence in Fayetteville. That will make trails more accessible to residents living nearby, Mihalevich said.

“It’s a pretty lofty goal but we’ve been actually making pretty great progress,” Mihalevich said.

The Niokaska Creek bike trail is a half mile from 4,000 residences, and contributes to that goal significantly, Mihalevich said.

Placing trails within a half mile of residences will encourage people to be more active and make the trails a five- to 10-minute walk from home, Mihalevich said.

People use the trails for exercise, recreational activities and to get around town. The trails cut down on traffic and reduces the environmental impact of exhaust emissions. Because the Fayetteville trail system is separated from the road, it gives people space to walk and ride, Mihalevich said.

“It’s really our goal to provide a comfortable place for people to walk or ride their bike,” Mihalevich said.