An idea born more than five years ago to help encourage Huntington area residents to exercise more may finally begin to take shape this summer.
Officials involved with developing the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health say they are about to seek bids for constructing three significant stretches of the trail this summer. It's work that when completed will let Huntington residents see for the first time substantial parts of what organizers had in mind when they first went public with their plans for fitness trails that would connect to cover most of the city someday.
With that visibility, backers of the project hope more public support for the PATH will be forthcoming.
The idea for connected hiking and biking trails and pathways came out of efforts to make Huntington residents more active to improve their health and to add a recreation tool that would make the city a more attractive place to live. In 2008, it was decided to name the trail after Dr. Paul Ambrose, the late son of local retirees Kenneth and Sharon Ambrose and a promising young doctor who was killed at the Pentagon in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The first phase of PATH to be constructed this summer includes three segments of crushed limestone trails in Harveytown, Guyandotte and the west end of Huntington. The result will be more than five miles of walking and biking paths that will run along bodies of water and make once-hidden views of Huntington easily accessible, according to Phoebe Patton Randolph of Edward Tucker Architects, which is working on the design of several aspects of PATH.
We hope the completion of this segment will also open the eyes of many Huntington residents to the benefits of getting more exercise and to the possibilities that lie ahead as organizers of PATH continue to make this long-awaited project more of a reality.