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Volunteers Build Running Trails in Carthage - KOAM TV 7

Volunteers Build Running Trails in Carthage

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

Brady Beckham mows part of the walnut bottoms in Carthage.  

It's a piece or property  the city council  discovered it owns. And Beckham, being a bit of a fitness nut, was ready to turn it into a trail.

"I had approached the city council as a citizen about some cycling-related ordinances, Beckham said. "And, kind of out of that conversation, the city administrator and mayor came to me and said, hey we understand you used to mountain bike a lot. We've got this land that could potentially become a mountain bike trail. We have a lot of interest in that."

Now Beckham and a team of volunteers are  taking the previously un-used city land to expand bike and running trails.  

"The current administration 3 or 4 years ago somehow discovered this was, in fact, city property. There was this hidden gem sitting in the woods, waiting to be used," Beckham said.

The new trail will run about three and a half miles.  And Beckham hopes the trail can become a regional attraction.

"I would like to connect this trail to the Ruby Jack Trail. Which, through Joplin Trails Coalition, will eventually go all the way to Kansas. I would also like to see this trail connected to Kellog Lake. And connected by bike lanes to the rest of Carthage," he said.

"Develop the infrastructure, it generates its own business."

Such as bicycle shops. Which Beckham says trails in other cities have attracted.  

"Half of the people involved in this project are not Carthage residents. There's a lot more demand than there is supply. And when you can create something like this then people are interested."

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