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Prairie Path, nation’s first rail to trail, celebrates 50 years

The Illinois Prairie Path cuts 62 miles across DuPage County and parts of Kane and Cook Counties, including two spur trails, and connects communities to each other and to a number of beautiful nature preserves. This is hands-down one of the best trails you will find anywhere. At 50 years old and the nation’s first successful rail-to-trail conversion, it’s also one of the most historic trails./

A group of spirited volunteers convinced the powers that be to use the abandoned railway for a path, and they built it initially by hand! Today volunteers continue to maintain the path in cooperation with DuPage County and municipalities, park districts, utility companies, and forest preserves.

Over 50 years, I wonder how many kids have learned to bike on the Prairie Path? How many people have biked to work or to visit a friend? How many got back into shape by walking the trail? How many started taking long bike rides on the path and developed a love affair with biking? Many thousands, I am sure.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who has made the Prairie Path a treasure for all to enjoy!

Read more about it in this story from Sun-Times Media.