Annapolitans will be able to bike, skate or walk to classes, cultural events and after-school activities when a 1.5-mile paved trail opens tomorrow, connecting several schools, recreation centers and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.
The $368,000 Spa Creek Trail -- built with funds from the state Department of Transportation and the city of Annapolis -- links with existing pathways and will create a direct route from the Parole-West Street area to Eastport.
Annapolis officials are promoting the trail and other city walking paths as an alternative to driving or taking a bus, and plan to include these pathways in pamphlets outlining transportation options within the state capital.
"It does link virtually all the recreational facilities in the city," said Thomas W. Roskelly, Annapolis spokesman. "I think a lot of kids and families are going to use it for getting to recreational activities and getting around town."
The new trail begins behind the old Bates High School on Smithville Street that city officials are renovating to become a center for seniors and community activities. It wends behind several fields, tracks and courts used by local schools and athletic leagues and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts before crossing Spa Creek.
The trail ends at Truxton Park, where the city's largest recreational complex featuring a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts and a public boat ramp, is located.
The new connector will be part of a newly designated Colonial Annapolis Maritime Heritage Trail that snakes through the city, linking to the B&A; Trail near the Naval Academy Bridge, which connects to the BWI pathway that circles Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
"It's a great addition," said LeeAnn Bogan, city recreation and parks director. "It fulfills and rounds out some of the offerings that we have and ties it all together. It's going to be an important connector between a lot of the community neighborhoods."