LACONIA — The WOW Trail is in a final push to raise funds to build Phase 2 of the trail later this year, and Patrick's Pub & Eatery in Gilford is inviting the public to their "High 5 for the WOW Trail" fundraiser to help make this happen.
"Visit us at Patrick's this month and donate $5 to the WOW Trail and we'll give you $5 Off on your next visit" explains Allan Beetle, co-owner of Patrick's and president of the WOW Trail. "And as a thank you for your support you'll have the chance to win some really great prizes from our WOW Trail sponsors." Sponsors supporting this effort include InnSeasons Resorts, Piche's Ski & Sport, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, MC Cycle & Sport and the Woodstock Station.
The 1.3 mile WOW Trail runs from Elm Street in Lakeport to Downtown Laconia at North Main Street, mostly along the active state-owned railroad corridor. Phase 2 of the planned 9 mile rail trail will extend to the Belmont town line, where it will connect with the proposed first section of the Belmont trail making a contiguous 4 ½ mile recreation trail. Ultimately, the 9 mile WOW Trail will be part of a 25 mile Franklin to Meredith rail trail corridor.
"We're delighted with the activity out on the first phase" says Beetle. "Trail counts show over 40,000 users a year on the first section, and this will only increase as the trail grows to include more connection points. With 4 ½ miles of trail, this begins to get more interesting. But the real impact will be when we connect up to the Weirs and then on to Meredith, offering trail users retail, lodging, public beaches, residential areas and outstanding scenic vistas. That's when we will see the maximum economic impact we are working towards".
An Economic Impact Study prepared by the Belknap Economic Development Council estimates that a completed WOW Trail would generate 152,000 users each year, with 38,000 of those users coming from out of area generating net new spending of $1.8 million annually. Nationwide, rail trails demonstrably improve quality of life, encourage healthier lifestyles, provide a safe place for active commuting and generate significant economic impact to the communities they serve.
The community is invited to visit Patrick's during the month of April and donate $5 to the WOW Trail and in return, get a $5 Off coupon for a return visit. Patrick's hosts Team Trivia Monday's at 7 p.m.; Family Night (kids ½ priced meals with games and prizes) every Tuesday night and live music Wednesday thru Saturday night.
Patrick's, located at the junctions of Rt 11 and Rt11B in Gilford, is about to celebrate their 20th year in operation under Jeff and Allan Beetle. They have twice been recognized as the NH winner of the Good Neighbor Award by the National Restaurant Association in part for their work and support of the WOW Trail.
For more information about Patrick's entertainment schedule or specials, visit www.patrickspub.com or for the WOW Trail, visit www.wowtrail.org.