Jackson County Rock Island Trail - what happened, what's next, what connections are in the works? Interview with Jackson County RIT officials (Youtube video)

Jackson County has recently completed the main 13.5-mile section of the Rock Island Trail through Lee's Summit, Raytown, and Jackson County - a project decades in the making. The trail is the final link bringing the Katy Trail/Rock Island Trail system all the way across Missouri from the Mississippi River to Kansas City. 
Wednesday we sat with with Jackson County Legislator Tony Miller, Deputy Director for the Jackson County Parks Department Brian Nowotny, and Rock Island Program Manager Matt Davis for an update the new trail:

Some of the topics we discussed:
  • A planned trail extension on the southeast end that may be open later this year or next year, connecting the trail to Greenwood.

    The 13.5 mile Rock Island Trail in Jackson County is the westernmost link in the
    The 13.5 mile Rock Island Trail in Jackson County is the westernmost link in the cross-state Katy/Rock Island Trail system
  • What are the possibilities for connecting the trail to the west towards Kansas City, St Joseph,  and Kansas? To Missouri State Parks Rock Island & Katy Trails to the southeast? To other trails along the way?
  • Potential for seamless connection from the Rock Island to other trails in Jackson County and throughout the Kansas City metro area.
  • How are gaps in the trail and potential connections going to be addressed - the Greenwood Connector to the east and the gap to Kansas City trails to the west?
  • What impact is the Rock Island Trail having on the county and the communities along it?
  • MoBikeFed Director Brent Hugh outlined many connecting bicycle routes the Federation is developing that connect to the trail, use it, or intersect with it (links below).
  • Q&A with live audience - a wide variety of questions answered.

Links mentioned in the presentation

MoBikeFed Bicycle Routes connecting to the Rock Island Trail:

KC Cycling News Video on the Jackson County Rock Island Trail

In February Timothy McClung of Kansas City Cycling News sat with with Tony Miller, Brian Nowotny, and Matt Davis to talk about the Rock Island Trail and other Jackson County trails and park issues.

This is a great companion episode to the MoBikeFed video above.  They talk more about the history and background of the Jackson County Rock Island Trail and more about some of the other Jackson County trails:


View the KC Cycling New episode on Youtube



The western terminus of the Rock Island Trail is as the Truman Sports Complex.  How will it connect from there to downtown Kansas City and beyond?
The trail connects Kansas City, Raytown, and Lee's Summit.  How will it connect to the State Parks Rock Island Trail in Pleasant Hill and to Kansas City's existing trails?

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