The Governor and IDNR announced funding for seven projects yesterday around the state, all funded through the IDNR’s Bike Path Program, which pays 50% of project costs up to $200,000. While you can Google to find each of these, we thought we’d do everyone a favor—including us—and consolidate all the press releases sent out yesterday.
Tomorrow, March 1 at high noon is the deadline for the next round of Bike Path Program funding and the federal Recreational Trails Program.
Governor Quinn Announces $36,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Bartlett
Governor Quinn Announces $253,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Paths in Champaign County
Governor Quinn Announces $87,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Lake Bluff
Governor Quinn Announces $200,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Glen Carbon
Governor Quinn Announces $77,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Peoria and Fulton Counties
Governor Quinn Announces $155,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Skokie
Governor Quinn Announces $151,000 Investment to Develop Bicycle Path in Bolingbrook
That’s 30’-tall Will B. Rolling being lowered into place this past fall in Port Byron, Illinois, one of the charming Mississippi River towns we’ll visit as GITy Up! goes bike camping along western Illinois’ Great River Trail, June 28-29, 2014.
GITy Up! is a tantalizing taste of trail-based bike touring for first-time bike campers and families. For the bike touring expert, it’s a RAGBRAI tune up and a quick fix for restless legs. GITy Up! 2014 features:
Registration is open, but it’s already filling up—GITy Up’s limited to just 150 riders.
GITy Up! promotes trail-based tourism in Illinois and supports Trails for Illinois’ efforts to connect trails across our state and grow their use. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to hosting you and yours in June!
Trail News February-March 2014 -
In this issue:
phoebes812 says: “A little Cal Sag Trail meeting was enough to get me out and onto a soon-to-be trail at the Cicero/Cal Sag bridge. Thank you for the inspiration.”
Wow, we’ve not posted nothin’ for weeks! The explanation: we’ve been turtled up to finish the Making Trails Count: Illinois Prairie Path project.
And we’re still not finished, but the data we’ve collected is kind of amazing, and I wanted to share a couple tid bits, just to show some life on this blog and, of course, to tease you.
Making Trails Count helps trail groups and agencies quantify the Triple Bottom Line benefits (economic impact, environmental stewardship, health) trails generate for users and the communities they connect. The data was collected by 28 volunteers, many of them members of the Illinois Prairie Path not-for-profit Corporation, who logged nearly 200 hours collecting almost 700 surveys the summer and fall of 2013. The University of Illinois Office of Recreation & Park Resources coded and analyzed the findings.
Environmental benefits—only 23% of trail users surveyed used a motor vehicle to get to the trail. For hundreds of thousands of people, the IPP turns their homes into trailheads.
Health benefits —Cycling, by far, was the most reported activity on the trail. Walking & running came in number two and three—depending on age group. And make your guess which age group was more likely to indicate “stress relief” as one of their reasons for trail use.
Economic benefits—You were pretty smart opening the bar, restaurant, or outdoor gear shop near the trail. Oh, that’s not you? Maybe it should be.
The IPP, it’s turning out, plays a huge role in the quality of life that western Cook and Dupage County offers. All who live there knew that, but soon they’ll know it in a way that can be leveraged to create more value from trail use, and to encourage more trail connections.
Parks & rec professionals will get a more detailed preview this Friday at the IPRA state conference in Chicago, 10am in the New Orleans room, and learn how Making Trails Count can work for them. Look for the full report in early February at http://trailsforillinois.org/maketrailscount.
(Photo by Diane Banta, National Park Service Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance)
On my local trail at Homewood Izaak Walton about an hour ago, I came upon preserve volunteers Greg B. (foreground) and John M. (background) rebuilding boardwalk, checking cross ties for level with string.
There are so many things right with this work. Before federal transportation grants fed millions of dollars into trail building in Illinois, trails—heard of the Illinois Prairie Path?—got built. Trails get built now by eagle scouts, IMBA chapters, and volunteers like John and Greg.
In the spirit of May Watts, of IMBA, of volunteers everywhere, and in the context of a broken IDNR, a halved federal program, and a state losing tourism dollars and quality of life to its neighbors, Trails for Illinois will model a new way to build trails in Shelbyville, Illinois in 2014, a model that could be deployed to small communities, rural areas, and urban centers statewide. It’s a new way built on an old-as-the-hills yearning for service and for connection.
Watch next week for the next Trail News. May your home be your trailhead.
Trail News September-October 2013 -
Lots to share in Trail News—making trails count on the Illinois Prairie Path, Mid-America Trails & Greenways conference, rumors and gossip in abundance.
Supporters have been enjoying this for a month already; get your news fresh by supporting Trails for Illinois!
davery5555 asked: Hi Steve, I'm planning a bike trip on the I&M Canal Trail in October. What is the status of the trail between Buffalo Rock State Park and Utica? IDNR has no current information on their site and a search only revealed an article about the flooding in the area this past April. Thanks!
Hi, davery5555. Unfortunately, that trip would be high adventure, but maybe that’s what you’re after?
I just ran down current conditions for the trail: it blew up in the rain storms of April and May, and most of the damage remains. The big obstacle is a culvert collapse near Marseilles, which took out a road and a trail which makes bypassing it difficult. Repair could be complete by mid-October, but it’s hard to plan trips around “could.” Buffalo Rock to Utica is closed indefinitely by washouts, while Utica to LaSalle repairs should wrap up in the next couple of weeks.
The story of wash outs on the I&M has been told way too often the last four years or so. The quieter part of the story is that people still use it and find ways around, but no way can I recommend that, and I can’t imagine wanting to hang a planned trip on the possibility of being able to get through.
Are you on Facebook? Find the Starved Rock Cycling Association’s page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Starved-Rock-Cycling-Association/122845407820771) and post a question about I&M Canal detours. They ride tons in that area, and are likely to give you some good advice. Let them know I sent you.