Adventure Cycling Association writes in support of Missouri's Rock Island Trail

Last week the Adventure Cycling Association--one of the world's largest cycling membership organizations--joined a cavalcade of groups from across Missouri and the nation who have written to Missouri State Parks in support of the Rock Island Trail.

Have you completed the Missouri State Parks Public Survey asking for public input about whether or not to accept the next 144-mile section fo the Rock Island Trail?  If not, please take two minutes to complete the Survey today--it will be open through August 31st.

Here is the full text of the Adventure Cycling Association's letter.  It makes an excellent case for the importance and economic impact of the Rock Island Trail--which will be an important part of a national bicycle touring route reacing from San Francisco to W:

Read more

The Rock Island Trail is vital to the economic health of its communities: Rock Island Rally results

At the rally for the Rock Island Trail held on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol, we saw powerful evidence of the importance of the trail to Rock Island Communities across the heart of Missouri.

Many thanks go to everyone who attended the rally--from all parts of Missouri--and to those who traveled from towns across 190 miles of existing and prospective Rock Island Trail to tell how important the trail is to each and every community along its path.

The Rock Island Trail is "an opportunity to create a future"

The Jefferson City News-Tribune wrote:

Liz Thorstensen, vice president of nonprofit advocacy group Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Washington, D.C., said Rust Belt cities like Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Cleveland and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland are being reinvigorated by investments in new bike trails that attract tourists and spur spending by local residents. Trails can help towns sell themselves as walkable, bikable and healthy communities to businesses, she said.

Read more

Missouri Chamber of Commerce writes about economic impact of Rock Island Trail

In a remarkable editorial by Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, published in Missouri Business Magazine this month, the Missouri Chamber gives a strong endorsement of the importance of outdoor recreation to Missouri's economy--emphasizing the impact of the recently opened 47-mile segment of the Rock Island Trail on Missouri's rural communities:

I love the outdoors. I realize this perspective is far from unique. Outdoor recreation is an $887 billion industry in our country, supporting 7.6 million jobs, according to the latest data from the national Outdoor Industry Association.

Missourians are blessed with incredible natural resources that enable us to experience the outdoors in many ways. Hunting and fishing are a big part of our state’s culture, as are canoeing, powerboating, bicycling and hiking.

Our outdoor resources are important tourism drivers. The most recent annual report from the Missouri Division of Tourism shows that 13 percent of the visitors to our state came to see our state parks. . . . .

Read more

Missouri Trail Towns

Missouri is a leading trails state, with numerous statewide, regional, and local trails and trail systems.

But many times, cities and towns along our trails do not reap the full potential economic benefits of their trails, because they have not yet fully developed into "trail towns".

What is a trail town?

Simply put, it is a town the takes full advantage of their local trail system and connections to regional, statewide, and national trails to:

Read more