HERKIMER — Herkimer County HealthNet has hopes to install signs designating one-mile walking trails through a handful of county municipalities.
The Mohawk Valley Mile program is a new initiative implemented as part of a Local IMPACT grant from the state Department of Health awarded to HealtheConnections in Syracuse.
Elyse Enea Bellows, program coordinator for HealthNet, said HealtheConnections has worked with HealthNet to coordinate grant activities.
The program calls for signage pointing out accessible, walkable loops — ones that could give working people in the area an exercise outlet during a lunch break, for example, Bellows said.
The concept, she said, is based on the Monday Mile program at Syracuse University.
Bellows said trail designs exist for Herkimer and Ilion: The Herkimer route runs along East German Street and loops along North Main and North Washington streets, while the Ilion trail is plotted mostly on Otsego Street from Fourth Street to Second Street. The next step is determining how many poles are needed to place the signs along the routes.
“We are just working with the community to try to make it healthier and make it a more pleasant day,” she said.
Bellows said she is in the process of designing a trail for the village of Frankfort. Once finished, the designs will be presented to the village’s Board of Trustees.
Her hopes for the program, she said, is to additionally implement similar one-mile trails in the village of Mohawk and the city of Little Falls. Monies from the Local IMPACT grant already have been used in Herkimer County for other programs, such as signage pointing out healthy food options in local stores.