Pufferbelly Trail raises funds for trail extension

Photo from the Pufferbelly Trail

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  People from around Fort Wayne gathered together for a 5K run/walk to benefit one of Fort Wayne’s trails. The fundraiser for the Pufferbelly Trail raises money in hopes to extend the trail, making it stretch from Angola to Bluffton, going right through downtown Fort Wayne.

“The camaraderie created by events like the Pufferbelly 5K is a critical part of expanding the trails,” Fort Wayne Trails Executive Director, Lori Rose said.  “As we work to extend the Pufferbelly Trail into downtown Fort Wayne and beyond, it takes an army of supporters to continue the progress.”

This is the 5th annual Pufferbelly Family 5K run/walk. Last year nearly 500 runners and walkers took part. The kid’s fun run started after 8 a.m. and the 5K started at 8:30 a.m. at the Parkview YMCA off Dupont Road.

When completed, the trail will stretch 80 miles from Pokagon State Park near Angola to Ouabache State Park in Bluffton. Last week the Fort Wayne Trails broke ground on the next section of the trail. The next part of the trial is a 1.25 mile extension from Dupont to Carroll roads.

“The Pufferbelly Trail is the type of project that can transform our community,” said Rose. “Similar trail corridors, like the Monon in Indianapolis, have resulted in property value increases of over $140 million and we’re seeing comparable desirability of the trails here from residents, transplants and area employers alike.”

According to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department the Pufferbelly name comes from a historic nickname for a steam locomotive.

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