Trail Across America | God's World News
Trail across America
News Shorts
Posted: March 20, 2024
  • K1 06851
    Kids and grownups enjoy part of the Great American Rail-Trail in Muncie, Indiana. (AP/Isabella Volmert)
  • K2 76012
    A cyclist rides along the Cardinal Greenway in Muncie, Indiana. (AP/Isabella Volmert)
  • K3 69977
    The Cardinal Greenway will become a major part of the Great American Rail-Trail. (AP/Isabella Volmert)
  • K1 06851
  • K2 76012
  • K3 69977


You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

The bad news: You've hit your limit of free articles.
The good news: You can receive full access below.
WORLDkids | Ages 7-10 | $35.88 per year

Already a member? Sign in.

Cycling across America? Sounds tough. But soon it could get a lot easier.

Mike O’Neil owns a bicycle repair shop in Muncie, Indiana. The Cardinal Greenway trail runs past his door. Since the store first opened, the trail has grown to cover 62 miles. That’s just the beginning.

Eventually, this trail will be part of the Great American Rail-Trail.

In the last 40 years, the U.S. government has helped turn old railroad tracks into trails. But a new program isn’t just building trails. It’s connecting them. This project would create one continuous network of trails. The network would run from Washington, D.C., to Washington state. That’s the whole country!

“It would be a wonderful blessing to have it all connected,” says Mr. O’Neil. He has biked across the United States five times. That’s no easy task—especially without connected trails.

Highways cut off some trails. Some of the gaps between trails feature rough terrain. But connected trails could make the journey smooth and safe.

Small towns could also benefit. Part of the Great American Rail-Trail passes through Haugan, Montana. Motel owner Brooke Lincoln thinks the project could revive her town.

“Our timber industry is basically gone,” she says. “So our economy is becoming more and more recreation-based.” More cyclists coming through could boost the town’s businesses.

Not everyone celebrates the project. Some people fear the trail will hurt their home values. A house with a gorgeous view of nature might sell for a lot of money. But what if you pave a trail through that vista? Some owners worry the home then might sell for less.

“People are frustrated and disappointed,” says attorney Lindsay Brinton. “Nobody cares what the landowners want.”

The project’s future depends on funding. A 2021 law allows up to $1 billion for the program. So far, Congress has authorized $45 million. Trail supporters hope for more money.

“We’re oh-so-close,” says Mr. O’Neil.

In life, we often encounter “rough terrain.” But when things get hard, God makes a path. He carries us through. We can put our trust in Him.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. — Proverbs 3:6