ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — On Monday, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Allen County officials celebrated the completion of the Pufferbelly Trail extension project.

The new stretch of trail extends Pufferbelly Trail north from the Life Bridge Trailhead at Union Chapel Road to Fitch Road near the Allen County and DeKalb County lines.

The trail extension also served as part of the planned Poka-Bache Trail, which will connect Pokagon State Park in Angola to Ouabache State Park in Bluffton.

“This extension of the Pufferbelly Trail is a key connection — in the region and as part of our continued growth of trails across the state as part of the Next Level Trails (NLT) initiative,” said DNR Director Dan Bortner.

Fort Wayne Trails Executive Director Megan McClellan said there are now over 140 miles of trail in Allen County with the Pufferbelly Trail extension being finished.

“This new 4.33-mile stretch of the Pufferbelly Trail will connect thousands of additional residents to this system, while also connecting to beautiful areas like Payton County Park and Willow Creek.”

The trail extension received funding from a $3.2 million NLT grant in May 2019.

In December, officials will announce the recipients of an additional $30 million in NLT funding, which Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced in May.