Hardin Co. hike and bike trail opens

courtesy photo

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) joined by the Kountze Chamber of Commerce, elected officials, bike enthusiasts and community members Friday, Oct. 17, celebrated the opening of the long-awaited Hardin County Hike and Bike Trail.

The nearly seven-mile-long trail stretches alongside U.S. 69 from the Super 8 Motel in Kountze to FM 420 near the Big Thicket Visitors Center. Construction for the $2.7 million project began in January.

Kountze Mayor Fred Williams welcomed the crowd of about 50 to the city and expressed thanks and gratitude to all who helped make the trail a reality. Speakers included TxDOT’s Beaumont District Engineer Tucker Ferguson, Rep. James White, Hardin County Judge Billy Caraway, South East Texas Hike and Bike Coalition member Tom Thompson, and Kountze Mayor Pro-Tem Elaine Allums.

“I think it’s just wonderful. I really wanted it to happen as did the Hike and Bike Coalition,” said Allums. “I was interested in it happening from Kountze’s perspective, besides the fact that U.S. 69 is so busy and it would keep those cyclists safe from traffic. I didn’t just foresee it for people coming from out of town, but for those who live here as well.”