Edinburg opens new hike and bike trail, plans to build more

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Edinburg opened its newest hike and bike trail at Chapin Pond, further expanding the city’s walkability.

The Chapin Pond Hike and Bike trail, located at the corner of Jackson Road and Chapin Street, officially opened to the public Friday.

The project serves two purposes — fitness and drainage.

Approximately one-mile long, the trail stretches from Sugar to Jackson roads along Chapin, providing residents a safe place to get some exercise.

Meanwhile, the pond is a component of the city’s drainage system to alleviate flooding in the area.

City officials celebrated the opening of the hike and bike trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.

For years, residents had used the area surrounding the pond to exercise, but the city has now added the paved trail and greenspace.

The trail will also feature solar lights and benches will be installed at different sections to provide resting areas, according to project information available on the city’s capital projects dashboard.

The total cost of the project is $1.2 million, half of which is funded by the city, while the other half is funded through a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The city plans to add more stretches of walkable areas throughout Edinburg.

“We’re not done yet,” Assistant City Manager Tom Reyna said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, announcing that the city has three other trails under development.

One is the extension of the trail along Jackson Road, which will connect with the city of McAllen.

Another trail that is in the works will connect to the Chapin Pond trail and onto the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“Basically, what’s going to happen is, anybody in (the) south part of Hidalgo County will be able to get on the trail, come back all the way up, and take themselves to the university on a bike,” Reyna said.

“You can come from Military Highway all the way to the university if you don’t have any transportation; that trail system will be connected all the way through,” he said.

A third trail will be built in partnership with Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 1. Work will require burying the canal along Freddy Gonzalez Road, from Closner Road to Raul Longoria.

The added trail will connect from Doolittle Park all the way to the Jackson Hike and Bike trail, completing the trail system in the area.

The continuing expansion of walking trails throughout the city was done at the request of its citizens, according to Javier Garza, the director of the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

He said that in putting together a master plan, one of the things residents asked for was more walking trails.

“So it’s here now,” Garza said

He said the city is encouraging good health for its residents and making use of its recreational facilities in hopes that people will maintain an active lifestyle.

“There’s a lot of citizens that live on this side of town that now have the opportunity to come out here and exercise and that’s what we encourage here,” Garza said.