Warsaw Riverfront Trails
2ND. NATIONAL TRAIL AWARD
City of Warsaw Receives National Trail Award Warsaw is one of ten communities to receive national recognition for its high-quality trails.
This is the second recognition received in 2018 for its trails.The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) announced the winners for the 2018 Tom Petri Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards ceremony hosted by CRT member organizations was held in Washington, DC on June 5, 2018 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building. Representing CRT were Marianne Fowler and Derrick Crandall, Co-Chairs, and Duane Taylor, Vice Chair and Awards Committee Chair. The awards are part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to promote the importance of RTP funding to States across America. Award-winning trail projects and programs are funded through the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration.
In the category of Community Linkage, Warsaw’s Drake Harbor Recreation Area was the national winner. In receiving this award, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers were recognized as an important partner in the many trail projects the City has completed in the 20 years of continuous effort.
Mayor Eddie Simons states, ”We are very grateful to receive this award. The award from the Coalition for Recreation Trails, along with our earlier recognition this year from the National Complete Streets Coalition for being 1 of 12 best Complete Streets Policies in the nation for our trail efforts and complete street connections, illustrates to our residents and those that visit, that Warsaw is a special place in the nation for recreational opportunities.”
Since 2010, RTP funds have been used for a multi-phased trails system in Warsaw. The Warsaw Riverfront Trails Project was planned, designed, and constructed to provide an accessible pedestrian and bicycle connection between downtown Warsaw and the Drake Harbor Recreation Area. This recreation area contains multiple riverfront and interconnecting trails along the waterfront and the access road into the harbor.
This RTP project is an important section of a multi-phase plan that will ultimately provide over 20 miles of accessible trails and "complete streets" throughout the City and to surrounding recreational activity sites. Three miles of continuous trail has been constructed that extend from the Bledsoe Ferry Sports Complex, below Truman Lake, to downtown Warsaw. This trail system allows for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely travel from the sports complexes to downtown and beyond without crossing any roadways.
Due to Warsaw’s proximity to the Truman Dam, the Corps of Engineers owns a great deal of waterfront property in and around the town. They lease many of these properties to Warsaw for its recreational facilities. These include Warsaw’s golf course, baseball sports complex, mountain bike system, and historic Drake Harbor, all of which connect to the waterfront trail network.
“We have patiently planned and applied for funding for our trails in a phased approach”, stated City Administrator and Planner Randy Pogue. “This phased approach allowed us to not sacrifice quality over quantity. Our goal has always been to provide a quality outdoor experience on a quality network of trails.” Pogue further states, “We want to give special recognition to our City crews. They have been physically involved in construction of almost all the trails funded with RTP funds. Their labor in all aspects of the construction allowed us to use the RTP funds strictly for construction material costs.”
The award gave further recognition in two areas of design.
The Warsaw trail system was designed with a commitment to allow all users to enjoy the outdoors. This includes residents, out of town visitors, and those with disabilities. A new trailhead project was undertaken to encourage more trail users to access the network. The trailhead functions as a place to enable visitors to safely begin their adventure on foot, remove bicycles from their vehicles, and to encourage those with wheelchairs or strollers to try out the trails.
Since completion of this multi-phased project, Warsaw has seen increased numbers of visitors who arrive by boat, dock at the harbor and explore the downtown and riverfront amenities. Many of these visitors stay overnight. The City sees this trend continuing and is pursuing more boat slips in the harbor.
Planning and Funding
Warsaw developed its 2006 Trail Master Plan through a collaborative planning process between town staff, community members, and landscape architecture students from Drury University assisting CFS Engineers, Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. Having an established plan and vision for the entire network made Warsaw more competitive for state and federal grants. The collaborative process got community members excited about the project and provided City staff with clear direction. Warsaw’s planning efforts also facilitated public and private investment near the trails for everything from historic building restoration projects, to new entertainment and recreation facilities.
While Recreational Trails Program grants have been essential to the project, funds from a wide variety of sources have been used on other phases. These include:
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) recycle grant
- Local Landmark Grant from the MDNR
- Federal transportation grants including American Recovery and Revitalization Act Enhancement Funds and Transportation Alternatives funds
- Federal Land Access Program
- Land and Water Conservation Fun
For additional information please view the videos showing the Drake Harbor Recreation Development.
WARSAW NAMED AS 1 OF 12 BEST COMPLETE STREETS POLICIES IN U.S.
City of Warsaw has been selected as having one of the 12 Best Complete Streets Policies in the U.S. in 2017. It joins 11 other cities who received the recognition from the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC), including Baltimore, MD; Las Cruces, NM; Quebec City, Quebec; Florida, FDOT; Philadelphia, PA; Stonham, MA; Bloomfield, NJ; Bonita Springs; FL; Alexandria, VA; Rochester, NY; and South Bend, IN.
The NCSC wanted to highlight communities around the country that have already taken great strides to address equity and implementation through their Complete Streets initiatives. In its recognition of Warsaw, it further stated that “Despite its small size and limited budget, Warsaw successfully implemented its extensive trail network and kicked off a broader Complete Streets program by using a “three P’s” approach: planning, partnerships, and personnel.
Warsaw developed its 2006 Trail Masterplan through a collaborative planning process between Town staff, community members, and landscape architecture students from Drury University. These groups conducted visioning exercises to develop a rough concept plan for the trail network that engineers later refined. Having an established plan and vision for the entire network made Warsaw more competitive for state and federal grants. The collaborative process got community members excited about the project and gave internal staff clear direction for how to build out its network. Warsaw’s planning efforts also facilitated public and private investment near the trails for everything from historic building restoration projects to new entertainment and recreation facilities.”
According to the NCSC, “To make the waterfront trail network and on-street Complete Streets connections a reality, Warsaw curated strong partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, including MODOT and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Due to Warsaw’s proximity to the Truman Dam, the Corps of Engineers owns a great deal of waterfront property in and around the town, and they lease many of these properties to Warsaw for its recreational facilities. These include Warsaw’s golf course, baseball sports complex, mountain bike system, and historic Drake Harbor, all of which connect to the waterfront trail network. The Corps of Engineers was a valuable partner throughout the planning and construction processes by authoring strong letters of endorsement to support grant applications.
MODOT was another instrumental partner in creating on-street connections to the trail network. When MODOT planned to repave State 7 that runs through Warsaw, the town advocated for the addition of buffered bike lanes along the route to extend access to the trail network.
Finally, Warsaw took steps to empower town personnel to get their hands dirty implementing projects on the ground. The town held training for its Parks Department staff to equip them with the skills they’d need to construct and maintain their own trail projects. In addition to building skills, this training shifted the internal culture at Warsaw’s Parks Department by giving staff members a sense of pride and responsibility over these projects and helping them understand the value they bring to the community. The training also made it far easier for the town to fund and implement small-scale projects by providing additional staff time and labor to satisfy grant requirements, and Warsaw saved time and money that might otherwise have been spent on outside contractors.”
CLICK HERE FOR FULL PRESS RELEASE for Warsaw's 1st. Trail Award.
Walk, Run, Bike.....
Enjoy the great outdoors of Warsaw with new "Riverfront Trails". Five (5) miles of waterfront trails along with twenty-one (21) miles family fun trails. Each trail offers different scenic opportunities either by bicycling, walking, running or taking a nice stroll with the dog. These trails are Wheel Chair accessible as well.
The Riverfront Trails include:
- Drake Harbor & Drake Harbor Trail
- Steamboat Landing
- Osage Trail
- Joe Dice Suspension Bridge
- Kickapoo Trail
- Bledsoe Ferry Trail
With multiple connecting trails you can enjoy spending the day exploring all of the trails or maybe one trail per day.
See great wildlife from the trails like; Eagles, Foxes, Deer and even wild Turkeys....maybe you would like to stop and enjoy a lunch or bird watch from any of the trails....Warsaw Riverfront Trails offers you plenty of ways to explore and have fun.
HAVE A GREAT TIME!!
*For more mountain biking trails see Truman Lake Mountain Bike Park & Hiking Area.
Joe Dice Suspension Bridge
Steamboat Landing Boardwalk
Drake Harbor Trail
FUNDING TIMELINE & HOW WE BUILT OUR TRAILS
Drake Harbor Phase I was funded in 1997 with a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) recycle grant. This was the first section of trails to be constructed and was 1000’ in length. The City collected glass bottles that were crushed and used as an aggregate in the asphalt.
Drake Harbor Recreation Area was funded in 2003 with a Local Landmark Grant from the MDNR. The funds were used to construct 1470 feet of looping trails around raised soil areas that can accommodate festival tents. These same areas are used for various outdoor activities. A future amphitheater was designed into this area.
Joe Dice Suspension Bridge Phase I was federally funded in 2006 with a TEA-21 grant. The funds were used to structurally improve the entire 660 foot span of the bridge. This was performed to allow placement of a future permanent deck.
Drake Harbor Phase II was funded in 2010 with a Recreation Trails Program Grant This project extended the Drake Harbor Phase I another 1880 feet around the harbor peninsula to the boat ramps.
Swinging Bridge Trail Phase I was funded in 2010 with a SAFTEA federal grant. This project construction involved extensive use of soil to create a new gravel trail with a footbridge. It closed an 1100’ gap in the trail system and made the lighted connection from Drake Harbor Recreation Area to the Joe Dice Suspension Bridge (Swinging Bridge).
Steamboat Landing Boardwalk was funded with American Recovery and Revitalization Act (ARRA) Enhancement Funds. This project constructed a 1000 feet of boardwalk with connectivity to boat docks. Also, includes observation areas. This is the first phase to a larger Steamboat Landing project. ARRA MDNR funds were used to replace a sewer main that required a retaining wall to bury the main. The retaining wall set up the future Steamboat Landing Phase II.
Drake Harbor Phase III was funded in 2011 with a Recreation Trails Program Grant. This project was 1000 feet in length and linked Drake Harbor Phase II to Steamboat Landing. This completed the Drake Harbor Recreation Area trails.
Joe Dice Phase II was funded in 2012 with a Special Appropriation. Special lighting for night use was placed along the bridge path. Additionally, a lighted trailhead with restrooms was constructed.
Osage Amphitheater in Drake Harbor Recreation Area was funded in 2012 with Land, Water and Conservation Funds. The Amphitheater was connected to the Drake Harbor Recreation Area constructed in 2003.
Steamboat Landing Phase II was funded in 2012 with a Recreation Trails Program Grant. This project created a middle level trail and upper level parking above the Steamboat Landing Boardwalk. This includes connections to the boardwalk and upper level parking. With the trial, connecting sidewalks and access to the parking lots, all totaled this is 1800’ of trail improvements all with lights. The project was a combined bid with the Harrison Street Complete Street project.
Swinging Bridge Trail Final Phase was funded in 2013 with a Recreation Trails Program Grant. This grant placed a hard surface and lights on the Swinging Bridge Phase I.
Harrison Street Complete Street was funded in 2013 with Transportation Alternative Program Funds (TAP). This project connected to the Drake Harbor Phase III and Steamboat Landing Phase II. The project was critical due to the need to make connectivity to the downtown.
Joe Dice Phase III was funded in 2014 with a Recreation Trails Program Grant. This project placed a very dense hard wood planks for a permanent deck on the bridge.
Bledsoe Ferry Levy Trail was funded in 2014 through the Federal Land Access Program (FLAP). This project placed a hard surface and lights on a USACE levy. The project connected the Joe Dice Trailhead to the Bledsoe Ferry Recreation Area. The length of the project was almost one mile.
Drake Harbor Entrance Road was funded in 2015 through the Federal Land Access Program (FLAP). This project was a two-part project involving intersection and access improvements to Federal lands. One part of the project relating to the trail system, was to improve the road access into the harbor by incorporating Complete Street design.
Steamboat Landing Landscape and Amphitheater Connection was funded in 2015 with Land, Water and Conservation Funds. The project placed a variety of plants along the boardwalk and the midlevel trail. This portion of the project is complete. The Amphitheater Connection will provide access to the top of the amphitheater seating from the Drake Harbor Entrance Road project. This portion of the project will be completed in the spring of 2018.
Osage Trail Phase I was funded in 2017 and will place lights along the trail. This section of trail will connect to the Steamboat Landing and continue to Highway 65. The project will start in 2019.
View the construction phases of the Riverfront trails from video's above.
RIVERFRONT TRAILS WILDLIFE