Bob Joseph/WNBF News

An extension of a popular walking trail in the town of Vestal will officially open in a few days.

The 1.7 mile trail segment runs along the northern edge of the Southern Tier Expressway from Main Street to Castle Gardens.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The new trail is west of the popular rail trail that opened several years ago. The original trail is just over two miles long.

Although work on the trail project hasn't been completed, walkers and runners have been using it. The paving work on the trail was finished recently.

Town engineer Gary Campo says a few finishing touches remain, including the installation of barricades to keep vehicles off the trail

A grassy area near the west end of the walkway will be available for parking. Eventually, gravel is expected to be used to pave the parking area.

Town supervisor John Schaffer says a grand opening event likely will be held June 30 or July 1 to mark the completion of the trail project.

The western section of the walkway isn't as tranquil as the original rail trail. Although a wooded area lies just north of the trail extension, the heavily-traveled Route 17 is a few yards to the south.