Second cross-Missouri hiking-biking trail under consideration

A group that advocates for creating biking and hiking trails along abandoned rail lines wants a second cross-state trail in Missouri that would link with the Katy Trail to establish a 400-mile loop across the state.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is one of several organizations seeking to buy 145 acres of an abandoned rail corridor from Ameren Corp. The St. Louis-based company has not said when it will choose a buyer for the corridor, which was put up for sale in the spring.

If the Washington D.C.-based conservancy is chosen, it would give the corridor to the state’s park system to develop the Rock Island Trail. It would link Kansas City and St. Louis with the Lake of the Ozarks area, while also providing new visitors and an economic boost to towns such as Eldon, Versailles and Owensville, said trail advocate Mac McNally.

“We think it’s a huge thing, not just for the individual communities, but the entire state,” Mr. McNally said.

If the trail is built, it would be linked in a loop with the Katy Trail, which each year attracts 400,000 visitors and brings nearly $20 million into Missouri’s economy.

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