prairie grass
Bike along the trail
September 1, 2020
  •  
  •  

Trail group continues steadfast support amidst pandemic, refreshes logo

Meet the Friends of the Casey Jones State Trail Association

Recently, the friends group played a crucial role in helping to advocate for funding needed to design, engineer, and pave (most) of a five-mile section of the Casey Jones State Trail. This new segment of trail connects an already paved section from Pipestone to the town Woodstock, offering trail users options for day trip bike outings and rest stops.

new paved trail segment with fields on each side

Newly paved segment featuring ADA compliant crossings.

Of this new five-mile section, three miles are paved, and the final two are a smooth gravel surface. With this shovel-ready segment, the friends group worked on getting a bill passed this year to fund its completion. However, the bonding bill has stalled, and this project remains unfunded. The friends group will continue working hard to advocate for this funding in the future.

To celebrate this new segment, the friends group hopes to host a ribbon cutting ceremony, though the pandemic has altered the original plans. While the timing is yet to be determined, the plan includes an in-person event, inviting local legislators, business owners, community leaders, and supporters—those crucial to the trail’s past and future development. The event will welcome users of the trail to explore this new section!

Amidst the pandemic, the friends group has remained active, meeting virtually a few times. In a partnership with the Southwest Regional Development Commission (SRDC), the group is working on rebranding, marketing, and membership outreach. The goal is to expand their membership base and financial and volunteer support for the trail. A part of the project included creating an updated logo to better showcase what the trail has to offer.

Old Logo

New Logo

Circle logo with bike on trail and windmill

The Association is a busy group, and their continued priorities include:

  • Advocating for trail rehabilitation of the Currie Loop.
  • Seeking out willing landowners to acquire land for the trail.
  • Onboarding new board members and welcoming new members to the group.
  • Working with the SRDC on marketing and outreach efforts.
  • Being an active partner to the DNR.

With all the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the friends group has persisted in their efforts to support the Casey Jones Trail. Through virtual meetings and behind-the-scenes projects, the Association maintains their energy while advancing their mission to advocate for the development and maintenance of the trail.