Rock Island Trail neighbors: 20 years later, real estate ads say: "KATY TRAIL POPULAR WITH LOCALS AND VISITORS"

Some residents along the proposed new 145-mile section of the cross-state Rock Island Trail have been talking about their worries about the new trail with local media.

I live just 100 yards from the Rock Island rail corridor myself, so I understand the nerves adjoining property owners have when changes are coming to the railroad corridor.

But we went through those same worries and nerves when the Katy Trail was proposed more than 20 years ago.  Did the worries come true?  Or did the trail turn out to be a major asset to the area--something that raised property values and helped the local economy in a modest but sustainable way, while having few downsides?

I spent five minutes browsing real estate listings--and look what I found.  Far from being a net negative, nearby property owners are positively glowing about the benefits of having property located near the trail.

Katy Trail "POPULAR WITH LOCALS AND VISITORS"

Just a few of the listings:

  • .15 Acres   Rhineland, Montgomery County, Missouri $235,000 ESTABLISHED MISSOURI RESTAURANT, BAR, AND CATERING BUSINESS. This longstanding bar and restaurant is located in Rhineland, Missouri near Hermann. The building is 3,000 sq. ft. and was newly constructed in 1995, but kept its original bar and charming, casual atmosphere. LOCATED ALONG KATY TRAIL, POPULAR WITH LOCALS AND VISITORS.
     
  • County Road 409, Fulton Missouri 65251 Just south of Fulton, Missouri and minutes from historic Mokane on the Katy Trail this is perfect for a weekend get-a-way, hunting spot or to build a cozy country cabin.
     
  • 8.6 Acres   BOONVILLE, Cooper County, Missouri $460,000 Residential & Commercial opportunities. Katy Trail access. Rolling landscape with lovely, tall trees. Lots of road frontage. City utilities. Large storage building and shop.
     
  • 12.18 Acres   BOONVILLE, Cooper County, Missouri $1,500,000 Residential & Commercial opportunities. Katy Trail access. Rolling landscape with lovely, tall trees. Lots of road frontage.
     
  • 7.14 Acres   Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri
    The Freeburg Tunnel will be part of the Rock Island Trail State Park when the tr
    The Freeburg Tunnel will be part of the Rock Island Trail State Park when the trail is complete
    $920,000 Residential & Commercial opportunities. Katy Trail access. Rolling landscape with lovely, tall trees.
     
  • Windsor, Henry County, Missouri $12,000 Large corner lot adjacent to Katy Trail Access in Windsor. Property offers multi use options, possible RV park, cycling shop, or building lots.
     
  • Rhineland, Montgomery County - 90 Acres Land borders Grand Bluffs Conservation Area and Katy Trail. Right outside of Hermann, MO - Hermann Schools.
     
  • Rhineland - Original home has three bedrooms, each of which open to their own deck or patio overlooking the Missouri River.  Master deck off the front of the house sits atop the bluff overlooking the Katy Trail and the Missouri River.
     
  • Boone County - Portions of the property have frontage on the historic Katy Trail and other sections include lake views and access. 
     
  • Augusta - Enjoy Augusta activities. Bike or walk to the Katy Trail, accessible via city street from home. Large gardener's shed and the free standing concrete building was used as a metal sculpture artist's studio.
     
  • Defiance - Wooded 5.65 acre lot. Backs to 70 acre lake. Located near beautifully scenic Katy Trail, Busch Wildlife Reserve and local wineries.
     
  • Marthasville - Relax or hike the nature-filled acreage where you will enjoy endless views throughout. Close to popular wine country in Defiance and Augusta, in addition to the Katy Trail and Missouri River!
     
  • Marthasville, Warren County, Missouri $152,500 - Don't miss your opportunity to own property that adjoins the Katy Trail, right in the middle of Missouri Wine Country.

Attitudes about the Katy Trail have changed

If you weren't involved in the development of the Katy Trail, if you haven't talked to many of the Katy Trail adjoining landowners and community members along the trail, the full impact of these listings may not be apparent to you.

The Rocheport Tunnel is one of the most commonly photographed landmarks along th
The Rocheport Tunnel is one of the most commonly photographed landmarks along the Katy Trail

Trail neighbors in many of these areas were dead set against the Katy Trail before it was in place.  They organized, signed petitions, held heated meetings with elected officials.  They had all the same worries the Rock Island Trail neighbors have today. 

It's reasonable to have those worries.  But it's also reasonable to think them through and find out what really happens once the trail is in place and operating.

Now, 25 years later, attitudes of adjoining landowners and nearby communities have changed dramatically--the Katy Trail truly is "popular with locals and visitors."  That's because the trail is a positive economic boost for the area--as these real estate ads make clear. 

At worst, it has a few minor downsides--downsides that can be largely mitigated if we encourage Missouri State Parks to work closely with adjoining landowners as they develop and operate the trail.  And Missouri State Parks is anxious to do that--because it is a lesson learned in their more than 20 years operating the Katy Trail.  Missouri State Parks wants to be a good neighbor.

The Katy Trail is an amenity that neighbors enjoy and that helps boost their property values when the time comes to sell.  Compared with any other industry or business that would bring this level of economic impact to trail communities, the Katy Trail is all upside and no downside.

Twenty-five years ago, Katy Trail neighbors were worried whether that was true or not.  Today, they see the benefits and know it is true.

The Katy Trail is an important part of what makes communities like Rocheport, Hermann, Sedalia, and Defiance thriving, growing, attractive communities with a strong tourism component to their local economies.

More information about the Rock Island Trail

More info about the proposed Rock Island Trail:

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