This week, Waco city leaders approved a crucial link in their master parks plan for the future. The city approved a more than $2 million hike-and-bike trail extension which will connect Brazos East Park and Cameron Park.
"I work close by, so I come out here on my lunch break. I'll come out and walk a little in the park or throw a few discs, play a few holes," Waco resident Joey Harrell said.
Harrell frequently plays the disc golf courses along the river, but now a disc course and other facilities at Brazos East Park will be getting more use.
"Brazos Park East is seventy acres. Cameron Park is over four hundred acres and those will now be physically linked," Sharon Fuller, a spokeswoman with Waco Parks and Recreation, said.
A federal grant through the Texas Department of Transportation funds most of the 1.3-mile pathway. This part of the park is currently completely undeveloped and heavily wooded, but once the new extension is complete, there will be a fully-lit 10-foot wide trail.
"We're trying to capitalize on that by allowing access but still respecting the natural environment," Fuller said.
The trail will also serve as an important piece of the city's park puzzle by moving the city further on the long-term plan to connect downtown with Lake Waco, Fuller said. At Herring Avenue, the extension will meet up with existing trails and essentially link all of the parks together.
"The river corridor really is the most important piece of Waco's future -- and really, it's pretty important part of our past, too," Fuller added.
Construction should begin on the Brazos East Park trail extension in a few weeks and be complete by the end of the year.
"I think it'll be used by quite a few people,” Harrell said. “I'm excited about it."