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Thread: Top Ten Rails to Trails Projects

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Top Ten Rails to Trails Projects

    Let's create a list of the Top rails to trails projects... I will start.

    - Cardinal Greenway - Indiana - 27 miles - http://www.cardinalgreenways.org/
    - Creekside Trail - Ohio - 15 miles - http://www.traillink.com/trail/creekside-trail.aspx
    - Little Miami Scenic Trail - Ohio - 78 miles - http://www.traillink.com/trail/littl...nic-trail.aspx
    - Wolf Creek Recreational Trail - Ohio - 13 miles - http://www.traillink.com/trail/wolf-...ion-trail.aspx
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    From Jacksonville, NC where I lived for two years they tore up a freight line years ago and now a trail network travels through town and onto the Marine Base. I believe it is 5.2 miles info here.

    Also, I know North Augusta, SC is pretty proud of their rails to trails. It is 12.5 miles and ties into Augusta, GA. Their site is here

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus kalimotxo's avatar
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    The W&OD Trail, which goes 44 miles from Purcellville, Virginia to Washington, DC. It's a great ride from the semi-rural/exurbs of Loudoun County through the suburbs and into the city.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The 1st - Elroy-Sparta - WI - 32-miles - http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com/
    Tunnel Hill - IL - 45 miles - http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt.../r5/tunnel.htm

    Longest
    Name, State, Milage
    Katy Trail State Park Missouri 225
    Cowboy Trail Nebraska 161
    Great Allegheny Passage Pennsylvania & Maryland 150
    Soo Line Trail - Northern Route Minnesota 148
    Milwaukee Road Corridor (John Wayne Pioneer Trail) Washington 145
    Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor New York 119
    Flint Hills Nature Trail Kansas 117
    Soo Line Trail - Southern Route Minnesota 114
    George S. Mickelson Trail South Dakota 110
    Paul Bunyan State Trail Minnesota 110
    Blue Ox Trail (Voyageur Trail) Minnesota 107
    Wild Rivers State Trail Wisconsin 104
    State Line Trail Michigan 102

    http://www.railstotrails.org/ourWork...s.html#longest


    Who is a member of the Rails to Trails Conservancy ? Me since 1994
    Last edited by JNA; 23 Nov 2011 at 10:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The Fox River Trail and Prairie Trail in Illinois combine to form a 60-mile-long stretch from Aurora, IL to Genoa City, WI in Illinois' scenic Fox River Valley. The Kane County Forest Preserve District runs the Fox River Trail. In Algonquin, the name changes to the Prairie Trail, which is operated by the McHenry County Conservation District, as it continues north to the IL-WI border. It is a very scenic trial, going through old, historic urban areas such as Elgin, Aurora, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and Carpentersville/Dundee, the picturesque parks and neighborhoods of Algonquin, suburban areas of Crystal Lake and McHenry, and open prairies in the far northern stretches. The stretch from Aurora to Algonquin largely follows the Fox River, providing for breathtaking views of the river and lots of shade, while the northern stretch goes through large sections of open prairie. The trail was built on the former Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin railroad and the McHenry branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad

    The trail is among the most popular in Illinois, due to its proximity to a large population, as well as the great, scenic views it provides.

    Links: http://www.traillink.com/trail/fox-river-trail-%28algonquin-to-aurora%29.aspx

    http://www.traillink.com/trail/prairie-trail.aspx
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  6. #6
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Three Rivers Trail, Iowa 33 miles. http://www.trailsfromrails.com/three_rivers_trail.htm I helped write the grant that got this one built.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    The 1st - Elroy-Sparta - WI - 32-miles - http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com/
    Tunnel Hill - IL - 45 miles - http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt.../r5/tunnel.htm

    Longest
    Name, State, Milage
    Katy Trail State Park Missouri 225
    Cowboy Trail Nebraska 161
    Great Allegheny Passage Pennsylvania & Maryland 150
    Soo Line Trail - Northern Route Minnesota 148
    Milwaukee Road Corridor (John Wayne Pioneer Trail) Washington 145
    Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor New York 119
    Flint Hills Nature Trail Kansas 117
    Soo Line Trail - Southern Route Minnesota 114
    George S. Mickelson Trail South Dakota 110
    Paul Bunyan State Trail Minnesota 110
    Blue Ox Trail (Voyageur Trail) Minnesota 107
    Wild Rivers State Trail Wisconsin 104
    State Line Trail Michigan 102

    http://www.railstotrails.org/ourWork...s.html#longest


    Who is a member of the Rails to Trails Conservancy ? Me since 1994
    Good list. The Elroy-Sparta Trail is the one that kicked them all off. I have been on it several times and recommend an early start to catch the mist rolling out of the tunnels. Since the original 32-mile route was built more than 30 years ago, there have been several additional routes built connecting to it, so that the total stretches over 100 miles.

    I have also been on the Soo Line, Mickelson, and Cowboy trails and will also highly recommend them.

    A bike trail runs through Glenwood Canyon in Colorado. While right next to I-70 it is still spectacular scenery. The Miltary Ridge Trail is another Wisconsin favorite, extending west from Madison to Governor Dodge State Park.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Springwater Corridor in the Portland Metro area. It was a former trolley line serving SE Portland and the SE suburbs. It was a pretty big acquisition in 1990 and helped to fill a huge gap in the 40 Mile Loop which was conceived by the Olmsted Brothers in 1904. Although it is now closer to 140 miles and connects 30 parks the name stuck.

    http://www.40mileloop.org/history.htm
    http://www.40mileloop.org/maps/40MileLoop_map.pdf
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Here is one thats a bit different, the Dequindre Cut. This links the Detroit Riverfront with Eastern Market and goes through a Mies Van der Rhoe neighborhood. It is entirely below grade. This part of the Detroit riverfront has been de-industrialized so the tracks were no longer needed. If needed in the future, half of the right of way is left for a transit corridor. This is one of the few areas of the City where graffiti is encouraged.
    Eventual plans call for linking this into a pedestrian system in the Wayne State/Medical/Cultural Center known as the Mid-Town loop.

    http://www.metropolismag.com/story/2...e-from-the-car

    http://www.m-bike.org/blog/tags/dequindre-cut/

    http://www.detroitriverfront.org/cm/...dreCut_Map.pdf
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Wow! Some great ones. All I've got here is the old D&RG rail line trail from Salt Lake to Ogden (just finished our portion, waiting on two more sections for completion). It's not very fancy, but does provide a very critical linkage to the very extensive Bonneville shorline trail system on the east side of our long, long valley.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Plenty around where I am now, but one where I used to work is the West Orange Trail, through the western suburbs of Orlando, was one of the best I've encountered. I worked in one of the towns along the way, and we had good luck getting developers to connect their sidewalk networks to the trail.

    http://apps.ocfl.net/images/maps/WOT_TrailMap.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Orange_Trail
    http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide...est_orange.htm
    http://www.outdoortravels.com/biking...ange_trail.php



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  12. #12
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    The Tammany Trace, close to where I was raised, in St. Tammany Parish spans 28 and is the only Rail to Trail in Louisiana:

    http://www.tammanytrace.org/

    Now my current home, Portland (OR) of course has the inner city Springwater Corridor, but a very good trail out toward the coastal range from Portland is the Banks Vernonia Trail, a very scenic/rural 21 mile gem:

    http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_145.php

  13. #13
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    This seems to be a bit more detailed and difficult to determine who is "Top 10". Any suggestions for how to group these together to get the Top 10 feel, but have a lot more than 10 places? I don't think I can manage Top 10 in each state... maybe by region?
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  14. #14
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Plenty around where I am now, but one where I used to work is the West Orange Trail, through the western suburbs of Orlando, was one of the best I've encountered. I worked in one of the towns along the way, and we had good luck getting developers to connect their sidewalk networks to the trail.
    I'm going to second this one, a great, popular, urban trail. My office used to look out over the trail
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    This seems to be a bit more detailed and difficult to determine who is "Top 10". Any suggestions for how to group these together to get the Top 10 feel, but have a lot more than 10 places? I don't think I can manage Top 10 in each state... maybe by region?
    Just pick 10 that sound good and are scattered around the country. It's just a conversation starter.
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Just pick 10 that sound good and are scattered around the country. It's just a conversation starter.
    I suppose you could go by length, but personally I would just choose ten from around the country that seem the most interesting.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Michigan has some very long trails, including the White Pine State Trail Park, which is over 92 miles long.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    This seems to be a bit more detailed and difficult to determine who is "Top 10". Any suggestions for how to group these together to get the Top 10 feel, but have a lot more than 10 places? I don't think I can manage Top 10 in each state... maybe by region?
    Interesting idea. Backpacker Magazine does something similar, providing hiking options in different parts of the country. It might be interesting to identify the top five in five or six regions, then a top ten overall. Maybe Northeast, Southeast, Central, Great Plains, Northwest, Southwest?
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    I suppose you could go by length, but personally I would just choose ten from around the country that seem the most interesting.
    Quantity (length) does not equal quality.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus
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    There is the Rail to Trails Conservancy's Hall of Fame List -
    http://www.railstotrails.org/ourWork...ame/index.html

    click on the map link: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0...4&output=embed

  21. #21
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    The Trans Canada Trail www.tctrail.ca. Much of this 16,500km trail system across Canada is built on old railway lines.

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