Last Saturday leaders from Jackson County and several area cities celebrated a ribbon cutting for the first phase of the much-anticipated Rock Island Trail, the first re-use of an old rail corridor that will eventually become a multi-modal bike/ped/transit corridor linking Kansas City and its southeast suburbs and on to the Katy Trail State Park.
This first phase starts near 350 Hwy and Noland Road in southeast KC’s Little Blue Valley and goes to southern Lee’s Summit. The second phase stretching north to the Truman Sports Complex should open in late 2020 or early 2021. A future phase through Greenwood to Pleasant Hill and the recently opened Rock Island Spur of the Katy Trail State Park will be up next.
Connecting Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park with Kansas’ Flint Hills Nature Trail, linked by the region’s MetroGreen trail and open space system, was part of our big vision in 2010 when we started BikeWalkKC. We are excited to see many pieces of this vision coming to reality, and continue working hard to make more trail connections.
Overview of the Rock Island corridor and connecting trails.
Newly opened section of the Rock Island Trail.
Entrance to the Vail Tunnel, andold rail tunnel on the Rock Island Corridor.
Inside the Vail Tunnel.