On a chilly afternoon in December, a large crowd of supporters and enthusiasts gathered in downtown Pleasant Hill, Missouri, to witness Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon cut the ribbon to dedicate the Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park — the former Rock Island Railroad bed converted to a 47.5 mile crushed-rock trail — that connects to the famed Katy Trail at Windsor, Missouri and continues across the state to St Louis.
The Rock Island trailhead is located at 308 W. Commercial street adjacent to the Cass County fairgrounds. The city of Pleasant Hill has been positioning itself to be a ‘trail town’ in preparation for this marked progress.
“The opening of the Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park is a historic moment in our community,” said Mayor Chris J. Hicks. “Our residents and businesses have waited for many years to see this day. We are ecstatic to be the western anchor to the newest state park and cannot wait to welcome trail riders to our hometown. On this monumental day, we also look to future developments of the Rock Island Trail corridor by our many partners.”
To complement the Rock Island trail, Pleasant Hill has constructed the MoPAC trail — stretching from the state trailhead northwest to Pleasant Hill City Lake. City leaders and partners have supported the Rock Island trail’s development for years, and recently new businesses have opened in anticipation of trail-related tourism.
Plans are underway to extend the path from Pleasant Hill all the way to the Truman Sports Complex in Jackson County by 2018. Once complete, the county’s leg is expected to tie in to the heart of the MetroGreen™ Regional Greenway system’s more than 350 completed miles, making it possible to ride or walk from Kansas City to St. Louis.
View our Rock Island Spur grand opening Flickr album »