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Rails to Trails (long)
Do not have the full info available right here but this is the general
Rails to Trails comes under a Federal designation set aside to preserve the
rail corridors when they are no longer fiancially practical for rail use
now, but may be needed in the future. They are not "abandoned", but may be
used for a trail in the interim. In some cases someone, often a state or
local park or other recreation entity has agreed to develop it for
recreational trail use. Sometimes a private group undertakes the trail
The original charter called for the trails to be MULTIPLE USE. Much of
the funding for development comes from money allocated from the federal gas
taxes for recreational trails. A small part of this money is reserved
for non-motorized trails, but most is dedicated to MULTIPLE use. I suppose
if a private group put up all the financing they could set usage (not sure
they could over ride the original rules)
and keep certain users off.
All the info from the Rails to Trails Conservancy National office has been
supportive of all uses. I suggest if you are getting flac from local Rails
to Trails folks you go to the top and see where the money is coming from.
If you would like to e-mail me privately I will try to get some names and
info for you.
As to the trail surface, it is very difficult and expensive to remove the
rail bed gravel, and not good for maintaining a stable base. It is
possible to cover some of it, but also expensive. We have had some luck
making better footing by grading and rolling the surface. The bikers seem
to like this, and the horses do better on this as long as they are shod.
Actually, the surface is getting better each year since the rails were
pulled. Some soil is working in, some grass is growing thru. The grass
presents another problem as it must be mowed for ease of use and to keep the
fire danger down. In fact the rail bed is wide enough that part could be
paved for roller blades etc, and part left for horses. This is going to
happen in our city areas. Often the right of way can all be used.
Dot Wiggins firstname.lastname@example.org
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