If you ask the residents of Tipton Lakes about the one amenity they enjoy most, they’re likely to say the pedestrian pathways.
Diane Michael has lived at Tipton Lakes for more than 20 years and says the pedestrian paths are something all the residents love. Michael had young children when she first moved in and says she appreciated the peace of mind knowing her kids could use the pathways instead of the street.
“It was one of the many selling points for me, because my kids could bike, Rollerblade, and visit their friends easily,” she says.
Now that her children are grown, the retired elementary school teacher says she still uses the pathways four times each week to walk and jog. They are a unifying amenity, she says, that makes it easy to get to know one’s neighbors. Every day there’s someone on the paths, which makes you feel secure using them, she says.
“Now, I would not move to any place that didn’t have sidewalks and beautiful paths,” she says. “It’s just such a part of my life; it’s one of the things I would look for.”
The meandering, winding nature of the paths was intentional by design, says Beth Parkhurst, General Manager for the Tipton Lakes community.
“When the development first went in, the roadways were designed in a strategic way to slow down traffic,” she says. “The pathways outlined the roads to offer residents a more scenic walk through the neighborhoods.”
The nearly 10 miles of pedestrian paths, which include nature trails and four underpasses, are intended to maximize pedestrian mobility and lead people to common areas where they can enjoy the amenities, Parkhurst says.
In the spring of 2006, one of three nature trails was established near the marina between the Blackhawk and Pintail neighborhoods as part of an Eagle Scout project, Parkhurst says. A few years later, the nature trail was enhanced with a bridge and bench as part of another Eagle Scout project.
Not only is the beauty of the nature trails appealing to residents, but the trails help preserve the surrounding natural environment, including trees, streams and wildlife habitats that are unique to the Tipton Lakes area.
When Lisa Brueggemann moved to Tipton Lakes in 1989, her sons were still very young. She says she wore out the wheels on the stroller walking the pathways with her sons, and now that they’re grown she walks her dog. The stay-at-home mom says the pathways are paramount to the vitality of the neighborhoods.
“I’ve walked every square inch of the pathways,” she says. “People use them for everything, from biking to walking, and mom groups walk them all the time. We even have people from the outside who drive in and walk on them.”
Since many residents, like Brueggemann, use the paths to walk their dogs, Tipton Lakes installed six pet waste stations along the pathways this past spring. The stations are strategically placed close to the parks and along the most popular sections of the paths so owners may pick up a bag at one and then deposit the collected waste at the next station, Parkhurst says.
“The stations are given attention once each week for disposal and replenishing the baggies,” she says. “The implementation of the pet waste stations has reduced the number of calls regarding disposal issues.”
One of the most popular sections of the paths is a two-mile stretch that starts at the marina, leads out to Tipton Lakes Boulevard, down along Goeller Boulevard across the dam and then cuts back onto Tipton Lakes Boulevard, Parkhurst says.
Longtime resident Jerry Hayes says the scenic nature of the pathways serves as motivation to get out and walk. During the summer he walks about five miles each day.
“The scenery is so beautiful it makes for an enjoyable walk,” the Edinburgh Middle School science teacher says.
Resident Angie Turner has lived in three different homes within Tipton Lakes over the past 18 years. Turner, who works as a registered nurse at Columbus Regional Hospital, says the paths are an amenity she would not give up.
“It’s one of the reasons I live here,” she says. “My kids have grown up in Tipton Lakes, so I started out with the strollers, and then we graduated to the little bikes. I’ve ventured to every single playground in the area and now, as an older person, I’m still truckin’ around the trails.”
In a survey conducted by Tipton Lakes a few years ago, residents were asked to rank the amenities by importance.
“We thought they would say lakes,” Parkhurst says. “And it’s interesting because the paths edged ahead of them.”
Turner says it is difficult to pick a favorite pathway or location because they’re all so beautiful. Part of the appeal, she says, is the scenery changes with the seasons.
“You would have to pry me out of the area,” she says. “I love it so much here.”