The Pacific River Walk Trail Project (PRWTP) is excited to announce a new agreement with the Meramec Valley Trail Association (MVTA).
The PRWTP’s mission has been to connect the Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) to the Ozark Trail by building a trail from Eureka, Missouri, though Pacific, Missouri, along the Meramec River to Robertsville State Park in Robertsville, Missouri. Also included in the plan was a looping trail within the city of Pacific, starting at Liberty Field and connecting to the trail along the river before returning back to Liberty Field. This mission and vision will re-purpose property in the flood plain into useful space for citizens to recreate and provide a much needed economic boost to the surrounding community.
The success of this endeavor has been evident. PRWTP and GRG worked together to purchase the necessary property to build a park and trail along the river connecting all the way to Eureka. Officials with Pacific, Eureka, GRG and others are now all working together to accomplish this exciting project so the PRWTP can now focus on the looping trail at Liberty Field.
The looping trail project came with the challenge of requiring a bridge crossing at Brush Creek. An abandoned road bed has been approved to be re-purposed into the trail; however, the original bridge that crossed Brush Creek was demolished. The Pacific River Walk Trail was able to secure a Missouri State Parks Recreational Trail Program grant for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge, thus enabling this objective to move forward.
With the PRWTP currently focused on building the looping trail and bridge in Pacific, the next phase of the overall vision turned to the trail connecting Pacific to Robertsville State Park. The PRWTP is excited to announce a new agreement with the MVTA to oversee this phase of the project.
The MVTA was established with the mission of connecting the communities along the Meramec River valley in Franklin County. This will be accomplished by creating a natural surface trail beginning at the trailhead in Pacific, crossing throughout the Meramec River valley and connecting to the Ozark Trail at Meramec State Park in Sullivan, Missouri. This new section of trail will provide a link between two trail systems that will combine to form more than 500 miles of continuous trail from St. Louis to near the Arkansas border. This connection will lead to greater access to the Ozarks for people living in St. Louis, increase usage along the entire Ozark Trail, provide an economic boost to the local communities along the trail and increase property values in the vicinity of the trail.
The new trail will adopt the name of the Ozark Trail and will run through Robertsville State Park along its journey through the Meramec River valley. Since the trail will pass through a majority of privately-owned properties, cooperation from land owners and managers throughout the Meramec River valley and surrounding area will be paramount to accomplishing this project. The trail will not be built by using force-of-hand or eminent domain, so involvement by the communities the trail will pass through and near is vitally important to making the well over 25-mile connection a reality.
Both the PRWT and the MVTA are thrilled to have reached this agreement and both groups are looking forward to their continued focus on their missions. You can find more information about the Meramec Valley Trail Association at www.meramecvalleytrails.com.