From rails to trails

In the UK we have seen over the past 15 years the creation of the National Cycle Network, often bringing disused railways back into use as walking and cycle paths. Many people back in the UK might be surprised to find out that the USA has quite a few old railway cycle paths as well and many of them run for miles. The start of our route today from Rochester (Indiana) took is along one such trail for about 20 miles. The Nickel Plate Trail runs for about 36 miles in total (although there are plans to extend it). We covered the northerly section today that links Rochester with Peru, via a few other places with familiar names including Birmingham, Denver and Lovers Lane! The scheme in the US is called rails to trails, it has successfully used the Federal Railbank Programme to secure many old railway routes for walking and cycling. Tomorrow we’ll head out of Muncie on another of these trails, the Cardinal Greenway, which at almost 60 miles is the longest greenway in Indiana. Although the name sounds religious the trail actually takes its name from the last passenger train to regularly travel the route (Chicago-Cincinnati-Washington): the Cardinal. The train service in turn derived its name from the state bird of all five states which it traversed. With just over 80 miles to cover in total, I hope we’ll be as quick as a bird and get to Dayton, Ohio in good time.

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4 thoughts on “From rails to trails

    • Thanks Martin – the blog is working really well for us … your support and advice were vital … I’m really pleased with how it’s functioning and how well it integrates with our phones through the app. Mike

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