MoRIT representatives discuss the proposed Rock Island Trail

By: 
Linda Trest
Staff Writer

The Bistro at the Mill hosted an informational meeting with Missouri Rock Island Trail (MoRIT) and community leaders last Thursday, Jan. 31. 

Members of the Gerald chamber, library, historical society,venturing crew and business owners were on hand to hear the status of the proposed Rock Island Trail. 

The trail would be built on the bed of the old Rock Island Railroad which bisects Gerald. The Missouri State Parks system would serve as managers of the trail. 

An extension for negotiations between Ameren Missouri, which owns the rail right of way, and Missouri officials has been granted until August. 

For those interested in seeing the trail become a reality, MoRIT suggests contacting officials and letting them know you support the project. You may do this by going to railstotrails.org and clicking the “act now” button on the page. A sample letter of support will help you in composing your note of approval. 

Currently, Ameren has no trespassing signs posted along the old railway bed. In the summer, this passage becomes overgrown with weeds and saplings. Trash blows into the brush and stays there. 

MoRIT officials explained a way for communities to clean up the mess. Efforts are underway now to obtain permission to keep the proposed trail clean until work can begin. 

An article last week incorrectly stated that work on the trail would begin in Gerald and work its way east to Beaufort at a later date. MoRIT officials said they plan to include Beaufort in the initial phase. They will be concentrating on a route from Beaufort to Belle.

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