For residents who’d like to increase their home value and improve their quality of life, they can look to the in North Canton, which is undergoing an expansion this summer.
“It’s been proven that having recreational access less than three miles away, you’re going to have a healthier lifestyle,” said , director of Stark County Park District, or Stark Parks. “It improves your property value. It improves your overall quality of life by attaining and attracting jobs.”
The Hoover Park Connector Trail is connected to Washington Square, Hoover Park and North Canton’s baseball fields. (You can find the full route here.) Now, the trail is expanding throughout the area.
“That (Washington Square) two-mile loop is the busiest trail per mile,” Fonte said. “It’s right in the middle of the community.”
Stark Parks is building the trail up Marquardt Street and across to the . Now the trail is 90 percent finished in that particular allotment. From there, it extends into ’s property. (See the photo of Superintendent Michael Gallina and the trail diagram in our photos section.)
The trail will then go through The Hoover Company’s property to Taft Avenue. The section on Taft Avenue recently got approved for a grant; therefore, this section of the trail is being built by the city of North Canton.
Once the trail crosses East Maple, it’s Stark Parks’ project once again. The trail will then extend to the . Paul Beinlich, director of the North Canton YMCA, said it would be great for their members. Their plan is to work with Stark Parks to coordinate use of the trail.
“I think it’s going to do a tremendous amount for the community,” Beinlich said. Community members will "be able to utilize a trail for walking, running and biking.”
In September, the North Canton YMCA will use Stark Parks’ trail for their Walk-n-Roll. Proceeds from the walk-only event go toward the YMCA’s physically challenged program.
“The goal is for everyone in the county to have direct access to the trail,” Fonte said.
Not only does the trail offer a healthier lifestyle, but Fonte also said national studies tell you that being adjacent to a community trail adds 10 to 20 percent to your property value. He said it’s difficult to keep people off the trail, even while working on it.
“It’s that kind of active interest,” Fonte said.
By expanding the trail, people will be attracted to those businesses along the path. Fonte believes this has an economic impact on the community. The trail acts as a resource for delivering the customer to the business.