by Lauren KruparReporterCuyahoga Falls -- A new neighborhood trail to the Gorge Metro Park has been delayed.City officials say they are working with a third party to secure either the land or an easement to connect the city's property to the Metro Park to create the trail. A decision is expected to be reached by the end of May, city officials said.The trail would be a joint effort between city officials and representatives with the Summit County Metro Park."It'll give great access to the city and the neighborhood," Parks and Recreation Superintendent Darrell Lovelette said. "People will be able to walk right into the gorge."The trail is to begin at the intersection of Ninth Street and Albemarle Avenue and will descend 50 feet into the gorge. The trailhead would be on 836 Albemarle Ave., a city-owned parcel, at the intersection."We've been working on this with the city for a number of years," said Dave Whited, chief of planning and development for the Metro Parks. "[Former Falls parks and recreation superintendent] Dick Pierson and I talked about making a neighborhood connection to the park so that the whole neighborhood didn't have to walk or drive around to enter the park."The neighborhood entrance will be at the piece of property the city purchased in 2006 after developers made several failed attempts to build a home on the lot."The problem is the topography," Whited said. "It's pretty steep."The trail is expected to be 100 yards long covering a 50-foot drop into the gorge. Metro Parks personnel will construct and maintain the trail. "We're going to follow the lay of the land and do a switchback," Whited said. "There are some areas where it would be easier to span a little gorge with a boardwalk rather than fill it in or some areas where steps will be safer."Whited added the trail would not be handicapped accessible.However, before the trail can be built, Metro Parks personnel need to do an environmental study to determine if the proposed location is environmentally sensitive."Gorge Metro Park contains a plant that is federally protected," Whited said, referencing the northern monkshood that grows in isolated areas of the park. "We need to wait until the plants start popping up before we do anything."If the endangered plants were found, the trail would not be built. Whited said the study should be completed by early summer with construction of the trail beginning in mid to late summer. The project is budgeted at $10,000 but Whited said he expects the cost will be less.About the gorgeThere are two entrances to the Gorge Metro Park -- the main entrance at 1160 Front St. and the Highbridge Trail entrance at 1270 Front St. Both entrances are in Cuyahoga Falls, through the park.Gorge Metro Park is 144 acres and contains 7 miles of trails."Gorge Metro Park is one of our smallest parks -- that's one of the reasons it's so important," Whited said. "It's surrounded by urban development so there's no room to grow."E-mail: lkrupar@recordpub.comPhone: 330-686-3915