After 15 years of dreaming and collaborative work between several county agencies and municipalities, a 7-mile extension of the Madison County Transit (MCT) Goshen Trail has opened. The much-anticipated cycling and pedestrian path connects Troy to O’Fallon, Illinois, in St. Clair and Madison counties.

“It seems small, at only 7 miles, but this is the first connection from St. Clair County to the MCT Trails system, which is almost 100 miles now. So, this is very significant,” said Jon Greenstreet, owner of Bike Surgeon in O’Fallon, Illinois. “It helps home values and recreational opportunities and potentially makes cycling and commuting in the area safer. And for those folks looking to break into biking, they can do it right out their backdoor.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony in November drew about 150 people, who were excited to be among the first to try out the new paved path. The Goshen Trail extension connects to the Schoolhouse Trail, Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail, Nickel Plate Trail, Nature Trail, and Watershed Trail — all part of the MCT system.

Funding for the $10 million project came from federal grants, state funds, St. Clair County and Madison County Transit, the Metro East Park & Recreation District, and the city of O’Fallon.