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In July, Hendricks County Parks & Recreation submitted an application to the State's Next Level Trails grant program for ~$1.7 million to complete the funding needed to build ~2.5 miles of paved Vandalia Trail west from Lambert Park in the Town of Clayton to about halfway to the Town of Amo, Indiana. For most of its length, this trail segment will run on or near the former railroad alignment, about 200 feet north of Amo-Clayton Road (CR 500 S). Near each end, the trail will then transition to be near, but separated from the road, then at the Clayton end will jog north into Lambert Park. This will be a very important segment beginning to fill the trail gap in the center of the county and finally providing the residents of the town of Clayton with direct access to a multi-use trail. This is the only incorporated community within the central 4 counties of the NRHT initiative to not currently have a trail. Indiana's Department of Natural Resources plans to decide on the awards for this round of grants in December.
In the meantime, the town of Plainfield is quickly building its 2.3-mile Vandalia Trail extension to the east side of town funded primarily by its 2021 NLT grant. After having begun construction this past winter, Plainfield has installed most of the new paving and many of the new concrete crossings. There are still some complicated portions to build, but there is some hope for completion this year. This will increase Plainfield Parks & Recreation's continuous Vandalia Trail length to 7.5 miles.
The route runs east from the current trailhead on Township Line Road to Smith Road, then for a short distance along Perry Road where it crosses over to and along the south side of the large Hobbs Station retail/residential development and ADESA Auto Auction. At Klondike Road, it jogs south to then run along the north side of US 40 all the way to Plainfield's existing trailhead and trail section at Raceway Road. Additional future connections to Indianapolis are being promoted by White Lick Creek and Vandalia Trail Alliance, Inc..
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