With a ribbon made of leaves and burlap instead of the traditional red ribbon, Knightdale leaders officially opened the new Mingo Creek Greenway last Monday.
The trail, which has been complete and open to the public for about three weeks, connects Knightdale to Raleigh and the rest of the Capital Area Greenways at Anderson Point Park.
The 3.5-mile trail took about two months longer than planned because of weather and other delays.
The trail was about a $2 million project. The first phase of the project was handled by the City of Raleigh and came in slightly over budget because of construction bids.
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Knightdale administered the second phase and was able to keep construction costs low, keeping the entire project under budget.
Working with Raleigh allowed the town to keep the trail consistent so when it crosses into the city, Knightdale’s trail is the same kind of trail Raleigh residents walk on.
“The Mingo Creek Trail was built to the same specifications as the Neuse River Trail,” said Fred Boone, Knightdale’s town engineer when the trail was completed. “We even used the same engineer who designed the trail in Raleigh. We want to provide a seamless experience for people coming and going to our community.”
Rob and Lori Correa live near the beginning of the trail, at Mingo Creek Park off Parkside Commons Drive. They’ve used parts of the trail before it was officially open, but often went to other trail heads, like ones at Buffaloe Road, Anderson Point Park, Milburnie Road and Auburn-Knightdale Road.
Lori Correa said the family, which includes dog Fez, will likely use the Mingo Creek Trail more often now that it’s completely finished and grants them access to most of the trails they previously used.
“We like the peaceful, tranquil aspect,” she said. “It connects us to all the others.”
The event was sponsored by Greystone at Widewaters, a nearby apartment community. Staff at the community purchased several bikes they plan to rent out to Greystone residents to ride the half-mile to the trail and beyond.
In addition to the 30-plus miles of Raleigh area greenways, the Mingo Creek trail connects Knightdale residents to the N.C. Mountains to Sea Trail by way of the Neuse River Trail.
The statewide trail coincides with a small part of Raleigh’s greenway system near Wake Forest.
The Mountains to Sea trail is still under construction, with large portions waiting to be created, but will eventually connect western North Carolina to the coast through a greenway system.
Last April, Raleigh opened the lower section of the Neuse River Greenway that runs from north Raleigh to Johnston County.