All About Richland

In Our Backyard: One Year On, Great American Rail-Trail Work Continues

26 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

Technically, it both is — and is not yet — in our backyard. Seriously, though, it couldn’t get much closer to coming through Richland County.

At this time last year, we shared a post on 1808Delaware relaying news that promoters of the Great American Rail-Trail had unveiled a preferred route for the project.

In reality, while not actually traversing Richland County, the route uses the Ohio to Erie Trail, which crosses Knox County about 15 miles south of the county line.

The thoroughly researched route ended up one which would travel through 12 states and the District of Columbia along 3,700 miles. Of that distance, 1,700 miles were “gaps” in which trail development needed to take place.

In that year, the initiative moved ahead at breakneck speed. By the end of 2019 alone, the following developments had taken place:

  • Bolivar Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (Ohio), receiving $54,375 from the Timken Foundation of Canton to connect the trail to Bolivar
  • Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail SR 800 Extension (Ohio), receiving $483,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation to develop trail between Zoarville and Dover
  • North Judson Erie Trail Extension (Indiana), receiving one of the state’s Next Level Trails grants for $390,750 to construct 2.1 miles of trail between the eastern terminus of the Erie Trail at U 3 and the town of Ora
  • Veterans Memorial Trail (Indiana), receiving a Next Level Trails grant for $302,956 to construct 0.9 mile of paved multiuse trail from Tower Crossing to the Lake and Porter county line along US 231
  • Erie Lackawanna to Pennsy Greenway (Indiana), receiving a Next Level Trails grant for $2,910,172 to complete 2.3 miles of trail between Rohrman Park and Clark Road
  • Iowa River Trail, Steamboat Rock Extension (Iowa), receiving $375,000 in state grant funding to complete 4.4 miles of paved trail between Steamboat Rock and Eldora
  • Heart of Iowa Nature Trail (Iowa), receiving $530,000 in state funding and $200,000 in regional funding to pave more than 3 miles of the existing crushed-stone Heart of Iowa Nature Trail
  • High Trestle Trail Extension (Iowa), receiving $403,175 in state grant funding to complete 1 mile of paved trail between Bouton and Woodward
  • Tekoa Trestle, Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (Washington), receiving $1.7 million in the state’s 2019–2021 capital budget to refurbish the trestle over the town of Tekoa and open for trail use
  • Beverly Bridge, Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (Washington), receiving $5.1 million in the state’s 2019–2021 capital budget to refurbish the trestle crossing the Columbia River and open for trail use

The Ohio section of the Trail is profiled on this page. Included is a map showing the route through the state, including the “unplanned sections.”

To celebrate the first anniversary of the route unveiling, supporters published this update video:

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