HOWLAND - It doesn't look like it now, but the patch of land off North Road that the Howland Wellness Committee is working on will be a bike trail by fall.
The committee is working with Trumbull County Metroparks to develop the land into a trail and since spring has cleared 500 feet of land.
Saturday, the committee and other volunteers were on hand to clear more brush, weeds and especially poison ivy.
Steve Zerefos and Dr. Jim LaPolla discuss creating the new bike path.
Committee member Dr. Jim LaPolla Jr. said the Metroparks owns the wooded land off North Road from Mosquito Creek to state Route 82. He said it is hoped the five miles of trail can be developed for biking and hiking.
The committee is part of Howland's comprehensive community plan to give residents more opportunities to stay healthy, LaPolla said. He said there is a small trail now behind Howland Park, but that is often impassable during wet weather.
Even though the North Road trail is not complete, LaPolla said some of the curious have sampled the rough product.
Steve Zerefos, left, who is helping design a bike trail off North Road in Howland, explains part of the process Saturday as Dr. Jim LaPolla of the Howland Wellness Committee looks on.
Photo by Joe Gorman
''There have been some people walking around,'' he said.
Steve Zerefos, an architect and mountain biking enthusiast, is helping design the trail. He said the project is too good to pass up.
''If I live five miles away and I have an opportunity to put trails in, I'm going to do it,'' Zerefos said.
Zerefos said he hopes a three-mile loop of the trail can be completed next year.
Before that can be done, however, poison ivy must be removed, which Zerefos said is especially troublesome.
He said the root system for the poison ivy is extensive and needs special attention to be eliminated.
Zerefos and LaPolla both said they also want to find out what kind of materials they can use to shore up the trail that will not harm the environment around the trail, especially the nearby creek.