Lexington, Ky., Pushing to Extend and Connect Local Rail-Trail Network

Posted 04/03/12 by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Building Trails

Photo of phase one section of the Brighton East Rail Trail © Lexington Fayette Urban County

The people of Lexington, Ky., are pushing ahead with plans to develop an impressive biking and walking network built around a number of urban and rural rail-trails.

Photo of phase two section of the Brighton East Rail Trail © Lexington Fayette Urban County

Lexington Fayette Urban County announced recently it was seeking funding for phase four of the Brighton East Rail Trail, a short section that would link two existing trails and provide a transportation and recreation option for thousands of residents in a number of neighborhoods, and connect them to a number of schools and shopping areas.

For those familiar with Lexington, phase four will tie into the existing portion of the rail-trail via a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across Man O' War Boulevard, to provide a safe crossing over a busy street. For access at street level and linkage to the Brighton Shoppes, a spur from the rail-trail is provided to the corner of Man O' War and Helmsdale Place.

Since initial sections were opened in 2006, the Brighton East Rail Trail has become especially popular as a safe and accessible place to exercise, a favorite track for a number of running groups, such as the Lex Run Ladies ("women who run, kinda run, or want to run").

City planners also see the immense value in completing the Brighton Rail Trail, as it is part of the broader Big Sandy Greenway Trail, which will eventually link to other pathways throughout the county. The Big Sandy has regional and statewide significance, with the proposal to construct a trail along the entire length of the 109-mile rail corridor from Lexington to Coalton gaining momentum.

Planners are hoping to receive grant funding for trail development through the federal Recreational Trails Program.  

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