SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — With high-traffic locations like downtown Sherman and school commuters in mind, city officials have started working on a plan for a  walking trail linking municipal parks to prioritize pedestrian safety.

"Children and families have to have a protected path in order to get to places of interest," said Deputy Mayor Shawn Teamann. "They can't sometimes get in a car or don't want to; they just want to be out and be active, and this is a great first step in that process."

The Sherman Southwest Trail project is expected to cost $5.5 million, spanning around 2.5 miles. [MAP]

"This will connect Binkley Park off of Highway 56 down to Herman Baker Park all the way to the new high school," explained city spokesperson Nate Strauch.

While city council members look forward to the trail upgrades ahead, some park-goers hope that nature preservation will be a priority as the parks transition into a new phase.

"The nature side of it — like parks and trails — I hope that keeps up in parallel with the industry boom, so we don't just become a industrial town with no access to being outdoor," said Lyndin Hardin.

Although the trail design plans are still being formulated, the project will include preserving older trees to create shaded pathways.  

The Sherman City Council hopes to break ground for these improved walking trails early next year.      

Map shows route of planned Sherman Southwest Trail.