Published 10:52 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011
If you don’t recall the stories the Tribune published back in January and March (and in today’s paper) about the Union Pacific abandoning its railroad line from Curtis to Hartland, then here is a reminder. The reason the Union Pacific is pulling up the tracks along the 12.6-mile route is that it no longer needs the line. It filed papers for abandonment in March. Freeborn County officials hope to use grant programs to make the corridor a shared-user trail for pedestrians and bicyclists. Curtis, by the way, is the place name for the area near Hardee’s and Martin’s Cycling & Fitness. Look on the railroad tracks there for a sign by that name. The future trail crosses Front Street near Lou-Rich, and Front Street has bike lanes. And Front Street goes past Frank Hall Park. So if you are the type of reader who connects the dots, imagine this: The Blazing Star Trail will go from Frank Hall Park to Hayward soon. The Shooting Star Trail presently goes from LeRoy to Rose Creek. Connect the gaps between Hayward and Austin and Austin and Rose Creek. It’s likely someday there will be a trail that extends from LeRoy to Hartland. Wow! That’s a 63-mile trail. Just think of the tourism possibilities.