Students who attend Buckeye Woods Elementary School and Jackson Middle School got a welcome-back-to-school gift last week from Grove City's parks and recreation department.

Students who attend Buckeye Woods Elementary School and Jackson Middle School got a welcome-back-to-school gift last week from Grove City's parks and recreation department.

The city formally opened a 1,000-foot section of multi-purpose trail on Holton Road for bicyclists and walkers.

The trail now connects Hoover Road to Buckeye Parkway and serves Creekside Park. Parks and recreation director Kim Conrad estimates 700 to 900 households in the Creekside and Meadowgrove subdivisions nearby will be the most likely to appreciate the trail.

The adjoining multi-use trail was built by M/I Homes as it was building homes there in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Three homeowners didn't want the trail on their yards, so the trail wasn't continuous.

Since then, the area was annexed into Grove City and many more new homes have been built.

Those using the trail then faced a detour onto heavily trafficked Holton Road or traversed lawns where the trail hadn't been built, Conrad said.

The city has since obtained right of way from current homeowners there to close the gap. South-Western City Schools resumed classes Aug. 25, making it timely for students heading back to class.

"This will give safe routes to Buckeye Woods Elementary School and Jackson Middle School," Conrad said.

City and school officials celebrated the opening Aug. 19 with a bike rodeo and other festivities at the elementary school.

"We are continually working to improve the connectivity of our trail system throughout Grove City," said mayor Richard "Ike" Stage. "The Holton Road connector is an important part of the plan to make our city the most walkable, safe and bike-able city in the region."

New maps showing all the multi-use trails in the city are available at City Hall.