Summit Trailblazers

Summit Trailblazers

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Residents of The Summit checked a big item off their wish list with the extension of the lake trail this summer. The over one-mile trail allows residents to enjoy the sights and sounds of the 8.5-acre lake, a gem of the 143-acre campus.

“I think everyone likes to get out on the trail and so some walking,” Bill Hodges, one of three leaders of the project, said.

Hodges, a long-time resident, said the trail came to fruition after Wayne Greenlaw and Leonard Johnson, both members of the Appalachian Trail Club, moved to The Summit. “We finally had somebody that knew something about trails,” Hodges said with a laugh.

Sixteen members of the Natural Bridge Trail Club teamed with residents and staff to clean out brush along the trail and lay mulch. The trail is eight-feet wide so residents can drive a golf cart around the lake.

“People are going down to the lake on a regular basis. It’s really getting used, which is why it’s here,” Leonard Johnson said. “The mulch makes for a great surface to walk on.”

The Summit is home to many nature enthusiasts, selecting the Life Plan Community because of its natural beauty. Residents regularly spot deer, geese, ducks, a gray heron, a white egret, wild turkeys, rabbits and beavers.

There are plenty of opportunities for bird watching and many enjoy fishing, with large- and small-mouth bass, perch and bluegill stocked in the lake.

“Residents of The Summit love nature and enjoy the serenity of this campus,” Gina Meadows, RN, executive director, said. “Adding this wonderful walking trail makes taking in all of that beauty much easier. We are grateful to Bill, Leonard, Wayne and the other volunteers for making this project a reality.”

During warm weather, the lake trail is a popular spot. Greenlaw built three benches out of leftover wood, providing several spots to sit and enjoy the landscape. The team worked hard to build the trail, which includes an array of wildflowers, around trees instead of taking them down.

The men had a blast working on the project together. “These guys were so enthusiastic,” Greenlaw said. “It was a pleasure to be out working with them.”