Rhett Warren is among those who believe the local trailway offers a path to economic development in Mineral Wells.
The attorney and former Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce board president has formed a non-profit "Friends of the Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway" organization with an initial board of directors that will serve as a funding and development steering arm for the state-owned 22-mile trailway that runs from downtown Mineral Wells to Cartwright Park in Weatherford.
Warren believes the portion of the trail through Mineral Wells is a key component in the city's revitalization that can be improved and developed much like trails in urban areas that will attract new residents and business.
Because of a lack of funding to help state parks keep up with maintenance and improvements, Warren hopes the new "Friends" group can step in and help through donations and volunteer hours. They will also help coordinate adoption of portions of the trail by groups that will help with keeping the trailway clean and maintained.
To that end, a workday is being organized for Saturday, Feb. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon, meeting at the Rails to Trails trailhead off South Oak Avenue behind the Mineral Wells Center of Life building.
Warren said they plan to perform painting and some tree limb trimming along the trail in town. Persons participating are asked to wear work clothes and bring painting and trimming tools.
Friends of the Trailway memberships are available for $50 per year. You can mail a check made payable to "Friends of LMWSP" to 103 South Oak Avenue, Suite 204, Mineral Wells, 76067. Please include your name, address, and email address.
For more information and to keep up with the Friends group, find and follow them on Facebook. For questions or more information, email Warren at email@example.com.
The entire trail includes four trailheads and 16 bridges. Two miles running through Mineral Wells are paved with asphalt, with the remaining 18 miles of the trail lined with crushed limestone.
The trail was formed from the former railroad bed used for the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad. The trail opened for public use in 1998.