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Next phase of Onondaga County's Loop the Lake trail complete

Payne Horning
Onondaga County is buidling a pedestrian bridge to connect the Loop the Lake Trail to Syracuse's creek walk, passing over railroad tracks.

Onondaga County has completed another extension of the Loop the Lake Trail along Onondaga Lake, 1.1 miles in length, and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said it's needed now more than ever.

"When you think about what we're going through as a community right now and what we've done to get ourselves through this pandemic from a mental health standpoint, I can tell you our park system and this trail specifically has never been busier," McMahon said.

Credit Payne Horning / WRVO News
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon tours construction of the next phase of development on the Loop the Lake Trail along Onondaga Lake.

But perhaps the most exciting development is what's to come. By the end of the year, the county hopes to complete the construction of an elevated bridge that will allow pedestrians to pass over the CSX railroad tracks. McMahon said that will enable the county to connect the Loop the Lake trail with Syracuse's creek walk on the other side, bringing the trail from 7 to 9 miles in length.

"It's something remarkable and it's something that drives economic activity," He said. "It drives tourism, it drives conferences, it drives convention business, but also it gives us a tool when selling our community for more investment."

McMahon said the next phase is finishing plans for extending the trail through Murphy’s Island and up the east side of the lake to Onondaga Lake Park, but federal and state funds will be needed to make that happen.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.