If, as Wallace Stegner said, the national park is “the best idea we ever had,” the rail-trail is certainly a close runner-up. Part transportation corridor, part park, the rail-trail has revolutionized the way America creates high-quality, car-free pathways for bicyclists, runners, walkers, equestrians, and more.It was only a few decades after railroad barons had run roughshod over America’s economy and politics that they began to shed nearly one hundred thousand miles of unneeded railroad corridor. At the same time, bicyclists were being so thoroughly pushed off ever-more-intimidating roadways they came close to extinction. Through political organizing and lawyerly grit, an unlikely, formerly marginalized advocacy arose, seized on seemingly worthless strips of land, and created a resource that is treasured by millions of Americans today for recreation, purposeful travel, tourism, conservation, and historical interpretation. From Rails to Trails is the fascinating tale of the rails-to-trails movement as well as a consideration of what the continued creation of rail-trails means for the future of Americans’ health, nonmotorized transportation networks, and communities across the country.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Pub Date: 05/2021
Size: 8.90h x 7.70w x 0.70d