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September 18, 2014

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Summerlin’s trail system garners national award

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Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News

Summerlin residents Barb and Stu Keeley, who frequently walk on the trails in Summerlin, walk together on a December morning.

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From left, Hannah Zuhse, 12, Taylor Cadnas, 13, and Toni Johnson, 14, walk the trails in Summerlin on a December morning.

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Roger Grandgenett walks his dogs, Truman and B.J., along the trails in Summerlin.

On most weekends, Summerlin resident Ken Nickerson can be found jogging or walking with his daughter not far from their home in The Hills.

"There are lots of other trails here in the Valley, but they tend to be shorter and not as landscaped," Nickerson said. "The trails in Summerlin are very extensive. It's pretty nice."

Nickerson is just one of thousands of residents who use Summerlin's network of recreational trails, and the planned community received the inaugural American Trails Developer Award at the National Trails Awards Banquet and Symposium in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 17.

The award recognizes developers that establish quality multi-use trail systems within private developments. More than 95,000 people reside in the Summerlin community.

Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for Summerlin developer The Howard Hughes Corporation, was on hand to receive the award.

"Our last resident survey indicated that approximately 70 percent of respondents use the trails at least once every few weeks," Warden said. "On any given day, thousands of Summerlin residents can be seen walking, running or cycling on one of the community's trails."

The Summerlin trail system consists of approximately 150 miles of trails divided into five types: street-side, village, bike, regional and natural.

Street-side trails vary in width from five to eight feet and are designed for both serious runners and walkers to children and families on casual strolls.

Village trails are eight feet wide and are in natural creek beds or man-made open space corridors. They are catered toward long-distance walkers and runners as well as bicyclists.

Dedicated bicycle routes and striped bike lanes, typically four to six feet in width and geared toward more experienced cyclists, can be found on the arterial roads that link Summerlin's villages together.

The next steps in the community's trail system will be the construction of the Regional and Natural trails, although both systems are still several years from development.

An 8-mile stretch of Regional trails, which will be designed for multiple, non-motorized uses, has been proposed to run alongside the 215 Beltway and will be constructed as a partnership between Clark County, the city of Las Vegas and The Howard Hughes Corporation.

A network of natural trails, designed for outdoor enthusiasts and serious hikers, is also planned for the western edges of Summerlin to link the community's network of trails with the Red Rock Canyon Natural Conservation Area.

"Summerlin's trail system will eventually connect to more than 2,000 miles of regional trails, making it one of the most comprehensive and efficient trail systems in the southwest," Warden said.

Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].

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