RAIL TRAILS CONSERVANCY revisted

Yes, I have written about this before. That was 7 years ago. Some of us have no trails near us to ride on. So sorry for you. Some of us have planned out bike trails which have been built which we can ride on. Some of us have rail trails near us we can ride on. And some of us have both types of  trails near us we can ride on. I am fortunate in that I have both near me … over 125 miles of trails. That being said rail trails may or may not be among my favorite trails to ride on. Rail trails are particularly interesting because they take advantage of existing “corridors” which are no longer in use by a railroad company. Because the route was laid out with trains traveling along them they don’t have sharp curves nor steep grades. So if you don’t like steep grades and sharp curves this is good for you. Train corridors may be fairly straight and without shade … neither of which appeal to me. I have ridden rail trails which I very much disliked because of these reasons. In a word … “BORING”! Just miles and miles of nothing of interest to see nor curves to break up the monotamy. And in hot weather … “MISERABLE”! … as there is no relief from the sun. And yet rail trails can have lots of curves, be very scenic and offer great shade making them great to ride on. At this point in time we only have one rail trail here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area where I live. It is named the Pufferbelly Trail. It is a mixed bag. Most of it is fairly straight with no shade in parts of it while quite a lot of it has really nice shade.

If we play the game of “Let George Do It” we might find things going nowhere fast. The more ‘we the people’ get involved the more likely we will see progress made.

RTC (Rails Trails Conservancy) has lots of videos. And no, they are not all about raising funds, promoting and growing trails.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

RAILS TO TRAILS CONSERVANCY

Many of us ride our trikes on former railroad property which has been converted over from “rails to trails”. It is a good use for the land that otherwise just sits there going to waste, not being used for anything. The neat thing about rail trails is that most abandoned railroad corridors are quite long so a trail could go on for a very long distance. And for those who are not crazy about hill climbing railroads were built with limited  grades for the trains to deal with so trails that are built on the railroad corridors don’t have any steep hills. I think a 2 % grade is typical for railroad corridors.

Of course, the railroad companies don’t usually give the land away. They sell it and it can get quite expensive. Building trails is quite expensive not taking into account purchasing the land involved.

With one exception all of our local trails where I live are not rail trails. One is a rail trail however and it is a great trail. It is even named after something to do with railroads. Years ago steam locomotives ruled the rails. They were affectionately nicknamed “Pufferbellies”. Our local rail trail is called the Pufferbelly Trail. There are not any pufferbelly trains running on it anymore but it quickly became the most used trail among the several different trail offerings we have here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. It is not completed yet. It still has a few miles to be paved on the north end of it as well as a few at the south end to connect to the section already built to the south. Our local trail, the Pufferbelly Trail, is part of a much longer trail yet to be built which when finished will be approximately 90 miles long connecting the  Ouabache State Park near Bluffton, In. in the south to Pokagon State Park north of Angola, In. near the Michigan State Line. Our local trail will be about 13 miles long when completed. Right now I think about 7 miles is completed. More will be built to the north this year.

Oops, I guess I was wrong. Here comes a pufferbelly train now. Don’t worry, I don’t think it can get past the bollard …

I just had to have some photo editing fun.

In all seriousness, a group known as Rails to Trails Conservancy has a Facebook page you might enjoy checking out.

https://www.facebook.com/railstotrails/

They also have a website. Click HERE to visit it.

Here is their stated mission: “At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we are building a nation connected by trails. We reimagine public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors.”

One rail trail which is quite intriguing is the Great American Rail Trail which when completed will span all the was across the nation … from Washington State to Washington, D.C.

On a personal note, I have ridden on a few rail trails and found that they can be great trails to ride on. However, I have also ridden on some that are lousy … worse than driving on the interstate thru Kansas … just straight with no shade trees and quite boring. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for building trails using railroad corridors. They help us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

THE GREAT AMERICAN RAIL-TRAIL

The Great American Rail-Trail is an ongoing project as well as a great vision. From sea to shining sea … from Washington (D.C. ) to Washington  (Seattle) … better bring your pajamas as you won’t make this ride in one day. I like the idea of riding across the country on a bike trail and not having to deal with riding on dangerous roads.

Most definitely one challenge and important concern to such a trail is providing toilets all along the route. We can’t be going behind a bush or tree and definitely we all have to go sometime … in more ways than one.

HERE is an article about this trail explaining the plan and providing some information about what has been built thus far and where things stand.

Much of the trail utilizes rail trails that are already in existence and are simply being linked together rather than starting from scratch and building all new. In my State of Indiana the Cardinal Greenway is a part of it.

I hope the governing body has the good sense not to restrict e-assist cycles from using the trail. I wonder how the governing body is going to work seeing how this long trail system is utilizing existing trails which already have their own governing entity.

One thing about it … if a tadpole trike rider took off on this nearly 4000 mile long trail they certainly could …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!