This year’s Summer solstice will be on Friday, signaling the official start of the summer.
Hiking is often a popular summer activity in southern Oklahoma, with avid hikers visiting various hiking trails at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Lake Murray State Park, Turner Falls and various other area parks.
For people wanting to stay in Ardmore, another walking trail is being added to the list.
The University Center of Southern Oklahoma received a $50,000 grant recently from the Ardmore Institute of Health to build a walking trail around its facility.
University Center President Peggy Maher said the university is currently seeking quotes from different landscaping companies and will decide shortly when to start the process of creating the trail.
“I am looking forward to it myself, I would like a place to walk at lunch or before work and some of our other employees feel the same way,” Maher said. “I also think there are a lot of Ardmoreites who walk.”
Part of the trail will be an extension of trail already in existence. Planners are trying to extend the walking trail from Ardmore Regional Park to the University Center. As currently constructed, the trail ends at Ardmore Middle School.
Once finished, the trail will be open to the public from sunrise until sunset.
In total, the trail will be roughly a mile long and will wrap around the University Center. Some of the scenery of the trail will include forest area and native grassland.
“We want them to walk them through the trees as much as possible,” Maher said.
Maher also added the trails will extend close to the Ardmore Institute of Health, and there might be an opportunity to connect the two trails to add a few more miles to the offering.
“I really think we (University Center) need to be a commodore of community resource, more than just the people who are getting degrees here,” Maher said. “That is one way, opening the campus for recreation.”