Try a new connection in SMP

Summit Metro Parks
2 min readOct 26, 2022

Stephanie Walton, Chief of Marketing

This section of Sand Run Parkway is now closed to vehicular traffic, but open for pedestrian use.

As many community members may have noticed, Summit Metro Parks closed a section of Sand Run Parkway to vehicles in 2019 due to an aging culvert that can no longer safely support their weight.

The portion of roadway between Portage Path and Merriman Rd. was made available for the enjoyment of pedestrians while the park district studied options for addressing the culvert.

Summit Metro Parks has considered a variety of factors:

  1. Road salt and traffic are harmful to surrounding natural resources and sensitive wildlife, such as salamanders and other amphibians.
  2. As a trail, the road could extend the Jogging Trail and allow for a future ADA-compliant connection to the Towpath Trail at Big Bend.
  3. The cost to repair the culvert is estimated at nearly $1 million.
  4. Traffic studies demonstrate low vehicular usage of the roadway.
  5. Public polling supports the closure.
The new extension will add one mile to the Jogging Trail.
A switchback trail could also connect the Jogging Trail to the Towpath Trail.

After carefully considering these financial, environmental and recreational factors, as well as public input, the park district has determined the best way to serve Summit County residents is to permanently close this area to vehicles. Moving forward, pedestrian crossings will be improved, the roadway will be converted to an extension of the Jogging Trail and in the future, the park district hopes to build a connection to the Towpath Trail. Construction on these updates is already underway. Come check out this new trail connection today!

Learn more about improvements currently underway in Sand Run Metro Park on our website.

For more stories like this, check out Green Islands Magazine, a bi-monthly publication from Summit Metro Parks. Summit County residents can sign up to receive the publication at home free of charge.

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Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks manages 15,000 acres, 16 parks, three nature centers and more than 150 miles of trails. Find more at www.summitmetroparks.org.