Catoosa comprehensive plan includes trail connecting Rodger Berry Sports Complex to Blue Whale

CATOOSA, Okla. — Catoosa residents had a chance to weigh on the future of parks, trails and mobility at a community open house on Thursday evening at the Catoosa Community Center.

It is all part of an effort to develop a 20-year comprehensive plan, mapping out the city’s future.

In terms of trails, Catoosa has already applied for $2 million dollar grant through Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to pay for the “View 66 Trail”.

The proposed 1.2 mile asphalt trail would connect the Rodger Berry Sports Complex to the Blue Whale.

Catoosa Assistant City Manager Eddie Faulkner walked us along the future route of the proposed trail that would be built at the sports complex

Faulkner said plans call for the trail to be 12 feet wide, to accommodate cyclists and scooters, as well as walkers and runners.

“When individuals are visiting the city or even the residents,” he explained, “it allows them an opportunity to get from one spot to the next and it opens up room for growth.”

The Blue Whale, a historic Route 66 attraction, has approximately 50,000 visitors a year.

We caught up with the Inniger family from Ann Arbor, Michigan on Thursday afternoon.

Tricia Inniger thinks adding a trail to connect the attraction to a nearby park is a great idea.

“It would be great to take a hike into a local park and kind of visit that area maybe even bike a little bit,” Inniger said. “We would definitely stay here a lot longer if that were available.”

If the City of Catoosa wins the competitive grant, the 1.2 mile trail could be built within the next three years.

Brad Lonberger, the founder of Place Strategies has been hired by the city to oversee the comprehensive plan.

He said a future phase of a Route 66 gateway trail system for Catoosa could connect Old Town all the way up to Rogers Point Park.

FOX23 asked him why having a trail system incorporated into the comprehensive plan is so important.

“Post Covid we’ve had a real renaissance of bike riding,” he explained. “We want to make sure that the homeowners here have an opportunity to get on a system, they don’t have to go to Tulsa or to Claremore to use their bike, park and trail system.”

Lonberger said he wants to make sure Catoosa’s proposed trails are compatible with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s plans to build a Route 66 bike way that will come through Rogers County.