Walking trail at Baptist opens to public

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Carroll County officially opened its half-mile paved walking trail Thursday afternoon. It’s located at 631 R.B Wilson Dr. behind the Baptist Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Center.

Ancillary Services manager Nina Smothers, who was in charge of the endeavor, told the large gathering that it was a three-year project that started with paper work. The state Dept. of Health provided $30,000 in grant money.

“But it would not have happened if we had not partnered with the town of Huntingdon because they provided labor and expertise,” said Smothers. “The grant money was used to buy gravel, asphalt and raw products.”

Joan Cook, a representative with the state Dept. of Health, was introduced by Smothers as “the lady with the purse strings.”

Smothers said the people from the hospital, nearby Huntingdon Health & Rehab, Carroll County Health Dept., Carroll Academy as well as people from the community could now enjoy it.

“It’s certainly ready for use,” she Photo said. “It is very safe and usable in light and dark.”

Public Works director Randy Crossett and Ronnie Breeden that oversees the Parks & Cemeteries were responsible for the completion of the walking trail.

Carroll County Health Dept. representative Barbara Kelly said the health department was glad to be a partner and provide a smoke-free environment as well as a way to decrease obesity.

Mayor Dale Kelley said the town was glad to be a part of building the trail and this was just one of the many projects the town is involved in.

“We are so appreciative to have it here,” he said. “The town has a lot of interest in recreational opportunities for students, but also for adults as well. Our employees have done a great job.”

Baptist CEO Susan Breeden said the mayor and the town are always there when the hospital needs them.

“I’m excited that we are able to have a walking trail,” she said. “We can now look at other areas and see what we can do to promote other healthy lifestyles.”

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