Heart Trail creates downtown path to inspire healthier, happier lives for all

Heart Trail creates downtown path to inspire healthier, happier lives for all
The heart trail is expected to launch in fall 2019. (Source: Taylor Jacobsen)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Can a simple path help someone live a better, happier, healthier life? That question pushed Taylor Jacobsen to create a new project called the Heart Trail.

Jacobsen landed in Baton Rouge in 2008 via LSU. After graduating with his degree in landscape architecture, he started his own business called New Land Development. It was during the development of his company that he found his passion project, which is all about following his heart.

“I was looking for a way to kind of handle the stress and work on my heart health if you will. I was living downtown at the time and I just moved there so I started walking in the neighborhood,” he said during an interview with WAFB’s Liz Koh. “Then one day, as I’m tracking my data, I noticed it started to look like a heart. From there I devised a plan and a new path to manipulate it to create that actual heart trail.”

The Heart Trail will be unlike any other walking or running path in this city.

“It’s not just walking for our health, we’re walking to understand our city, to reconnect with what is already there. We’re just connecting the dots and creating a new line for them to walk.

Jacobsen is working with the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge to develop the project, which he hopes to officially launch this fall.

“We’re going to be using art pieces created by artists from the neighborhoods, from the schools, then using these as breadcrumbs, almost. They’ll be from large scale murals to small little dots on the ground.”

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Making this a walking path is key because he wants this to be something everyone can enjoy.

“We’re trying to slow people down because that way everybody can use it,” he said. “It’s a beautiful trip and as you walk it you learn so much every time. It’s not going to be the same feel. You’re going to learn historical landmarks, you’re going to learn about new businesses that popped up.”

There are roughly 130 businesses along the path, which starts at the Mississippi Riverfront on the levee at Florida Boulevard. The path then meanders around the State Capitol grounds, around Spanish Town, and then back around to Beauregard Town.

“I fell in love with downtown. Downtown is such an incredible spot. I encourage anybody and everybody to go down there. There’s just so many beautiful things that so many organizations have worked for decades to put there and it’s finally there, so I’m so proud of that.”

The goal is to recreate this path in other areas of Baton Rouge, and potentially expand the project to other cities.

With official funding behind him, the project is nearing competition. You can keep up with the progress on Instagram by following Your Heart Trail.

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