214 E. Market Street, P.O Box 653, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Phone: (843) 479-5626 | Email: JRMUNNERLYN


Lake Authority to receive grant for walking trail improvements

Lake Authority to receive grant for walking trail improvements

Major improvements are coming to the Lake Paul Wallace walking trail, thanks to a $75,000 grant administered through the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

The Lake Wallace Authority applied for the Recreational Trails Grant in February and recently learned it has been recommended for full funding. The next steps are project reviews by the Federal Highway Administration, State Historic Preservation Office and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Pending successful completion, the grant will be awarded later this year.

The grant will be used for a first-phase improvement plan for the 3.2-mile walking trail that crosses the diversion dam and encircles Lake Paul Wallace. It requires a 20 percent local match, which will be met through in-kind labor and additional funding by the Lake Wallace Authority.

Sully Blair, vice-chairman of the authority, said the project will involve regrading the diversion dam, which runs across the middle of the lake from Country Club Drive to Beauty Spot Road, and resurfacing it with a sand/clay/gravel mix for walking and running.

It will also involve clearing the eastern bank of the trail (around the perimeter of the lake), removing dead trees and brush to increase visibility and make this portion of the trail safer, and adding permanent trash receptacles and new seating areas along the entire trail.

Blair estimated the total cost to be around $100,000.   The grant, which will cover the bulk of the funding, will be delivered in either August or October, depending upon whether it is included in the 2016 or 2017 grant cycle.

Regardless, he expects the work to begin this year. The diversion dam should be completed quickly, but the clearing will be more extensive and will likely take several months.

This is just the latest step in the Lake Wallace Authority’s quest to improve the lake. A safety plan, which replaced the fencing, removed the old canteen building, added protective barriers and resurfaced and expanded the parking areas, is almost complete.

Future plans include adding more communal spaces around the lake, including shelters, grills, picnic tables and trash receptacles.