Economic Impact Report author: Rock Island Trail 'kind of no-brainer' | News Tribune

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A proposed recreational walking, biking and horseback riding trail in Central Missouri would likely bring more tourism as well as help residents be more active, according to an analysis by the University of Missouri Extension Service.

The proposal would convert a 144-mile abandoned stretch of the former Rock Island Railroad corridor — from Windsor to Beaufort — for trail use. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has until Feb. 21 to decide whether to accept the corridor from Ameren. If accepted, the trail would become a state park and require maintenance from the State Parks division.

"We had a hard time coming to any kind of conclusions other than this is kind of a no-brainer," said Pat Curry, who co-authored the Infrastructure that Strengthens Communities report with Martha Bass.

MU Extension outlined the background and community impact of the proposed trail in a 33-page report, which found the trail could benefit the community and state from the standpoints of history, health, safety and economy.

"The economy along that part of Missouri, there's some good things going on but overall, that area needs a boost, and I think this is the sort of thing longer term that is going to have a real impact in those communities," Curry said.

MoBikeFed comment: The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has set up a page to make it easy to weigh in with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Parks leadership to let them know you support the trail. Please take two minutes to send them a message in support of the Rock Island Trail:

They need to hear from thousands of constituents reminding them that the Rock Island Trail is a "no brainer".

You can read the Rock Island Trail Opportunity Analysis online online on the Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc. web page: