With help from state agencies and volunteers, recreational trails around Lake Shelbyville can become an even bigger attraction for visitors.
A recent public meeting plans were presented for the General Dacey Trail and improvement desires for Chief Illini trails and various agencies and organizations voiced their support for the projects.
"The master plan for the Dacey Trail is to go around the (lake) project," said Lake Shelbyville manager Ricky Raymond.
An expansion of the General Dacey Trail north to the Country Club Road is planned to begin as early as next year. That portion of the trail will be a more challenging than the current portions of the trail.
"Trails vary from easy to more difficult," said Dacey Trail chairman Jerry Yockey. He added that the committee has been using the trails at Camp Camfield as an example in the development of the Dacey Trails.
The Dacey Trail has three phases, with varying degrees of difficulty, which loop an area adjacent to Forest Park in Shelbyville and Corps property on the west side of Lake Shelbyville. Other phases of the trail travel around the dam, Dam East and Spillway recreational areas. Other expansions of the trail planned will bring the trail into Shelbyville and back to Forest Park.
Yockey said that fundraising continues for maintenance on the existing trails as well as for expansion projects.
"Maintaining the trails is just as important as building them," Yockey said. "We have an excellent volunteer group who helps with building and maintaining."
The General Dacey Trail has been recognized as a National Recreational Trail. It is open to walkers, runners, and bikers.
The recognition was awarded by the Department of the Interior..
Diane Banta, outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service, spoke on the power of partnership in working on projects that improve the quality of life.