Trail Ramblings: Let’s Talk About Trails.

Two news items about trails frequented by area cyclists surfaced today. The first is about the gap in the MoPac Trail from Wabash to the Platte River Bridge. As previously noted, there was a series of open houses held earlier in the Spring that focused on route planning. I attended one at Grandpa’s Woods. The LPSNRD and JEO Consulting Group have put together a study update and video showing movement in the direction of finalizing a route which you can view here.

Current gravel route in red.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday July 30. The Connect MoPac Study Team will be hosting a second round of open houses from 11:00 to 1:00 and from 5:00 to 7:00. The Location is the Round The Bend Steakhouse at 30801 E Park Hwy, Ashland. The meetings will provide an update about the study and outline the potential connector routes being evaluated. You can also ask questions and offer feedback. The chosen route:

“Completes the MoPac East recreational trail with as little property impact as possible

Ensures safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Enhances recreational opportunities in Cass County.

Moves Nebraska‚Äôs portion of a national and state trail network closer to completion.”

There weren’t many trail users in attendance at the previous open houses, which may have been a result of the wording of the invitation sounding like it was only for area residents when it was not. If you’re interested in knowing what the potential routes are, have questions, or would like to give feedback, do come to one of the meetings. They need more input from trail users. No RSVP is needed.

The second bit of trail news comes from the Lincoln Journal Star and the Flatwater Free Press about another segment of the Great American Rail-Trail, of which Nebraska has the largest portion. Begun in 1993 with the abandonment of the old Chicago and North Western Railroad, the Cowboy Trail came into existence when the Rails To Trails Conservancy bought the rail corridor and gave it to the state for a trail. 10 years later the segment from Norfolk to Valentine was finished, but the project stalled after that. Maintenance has been challenging, with washouts and plentiful goathead thorns. Finally in 2019 with local pressure the segment from Gordon the Rushville was completed. Chadron to Rushville is inching ahead currently, but that still leaves 88 miles between Valentine and Gordon. The article emphasizes how dangerous it can be for cyclists in that area to get out and ride on the highway and how they need to finish the trail for their own well-being. It is a vital link on the Great American Rail Trail.

2 thoughts on “Trail Ramblings: Let’s Talk About Trails.

  1. Allen Perry

    Awesome! Thanks. So stoked to see this complete. It will be interesting, I hope the connection and completion of the trail in our area brings even more energy and momentum for even more trails close to home.

  2. Jim Craig

    Thanks for the update and work.
    Both of these need completed.
    There are a lot of users at both locations.

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