Belle will be first town to complete a piece of the forthcoming 144-mile Rock Island Trail section | Central MO Breaking News

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The community of Belle will be the first to have a stretch of the Rock Island Line right-of-way converted to a recreational trail.

Belle residents, city officials and a trail committee headed by Richard Huse have been working on trail development since 2013, according to a news release from the Missouri Rock Island Trail Inc. (MoRIT). Now, a mile of right-of-way through the town will become a trail in the coming months.

"They were awarded a (Recreational Trails Program) grant to build a trail alongside of the rails before Ameren's Missouri Central Railroad (MCRR) was considering donating the corridor to Missouri State Parks," said Greg Harris, MoRIT executive director, noting the RTP grant funds 80 percent of the project with the remaining 20 percent coming from a local match for the construction by city personnel and equipment.

MoBikeFed comment: Much more information about the Missouri's new cross-state trail, the Rock Island Trail, here: http://mobikefed.org/RockIslandTrail