West Plains' first designated bike route opens to bikers

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- The City of West Plains officially opened its first ever designated bike route this weekend.

"I love it. I love the bike trail. It's just a good way to get your muscles pumping and your adrenaline going," said the oldest child of Michael and Stephanie Hullinger.

Sunday's sunny, beautiful weather was perfect bike riding weather for the Hullinger family.

"My mom is down from St. Louis and she was excited about the bike path opening, so we are out enjoying it in some great weather," Stephanie Hullinger told KY3.

West Plains Bike Group came up with the idea for the bike route last year.

The group of more than a hundred members worked with the city to make it happen.

Bikers will get to ride through neighborhoods near downtown, by Oak Lawn Cemetery, through downtown and MSU-West Plains and by various parks.

While bikers will ride on city streets, there are bike route signs as well as white, painted symbols to let people know where to turn and follow the route.

"We're not trying to take over the roads, we're just wanna have a spot where we can ride safe and they can drive safe, Michael Hullinger added. That's the beautiful part of this path. It's not only letting the bikers know where to go but it's also letting the drivers see where they can expect bikes to be."

Soon the West Plains Bike Group will place a trail head sign featuring a map, near the parking lot at East Towne Village.

The hope is this 5 mile route will benefit economic development, tourism and overall community health.

Both riders and the city hopes it could lead to a larger bike system that will grow over time.

"I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful this is the first of many bike routes," Michael Hullinger exclaimed.