Brown County gears up for bicycle path project “Trailways Plan”

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:26 PM CST
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MT. STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - There will be a new recreational option for bike enthusiasts coming to Brown County in Fall 2023. It’s part of a multi-phase project called, The Brown County Trailways Plan.

Dan Teefy, one of the community leaders, said Brown County residents took a survey back in 2018, asking for more recreational opportunities, which spawned the idea to build a bike trail.

“In the spring of this year, our plan is to build a three-quarters of a mile asphalt trail that will loop around Clark Park,” Teefy said. “The Tracy Family Foundation will fund the $250,000 for that portion.”

Teefy said this would be the first of many segments.

The group is already looking ahead for a $2.7 million ITEP grant, to pay for the next phase which would connect the loop in Clark Park all the way to Lake Mt. Sterling.

The long term goal is to have the trail function for more than just recreational purposes, but to extend all over Brown County and neighboring counties such as Adams and Schyuler, making use of existing roadways.

“It would get people downtown,” Teefy said. “And to our uptown shopping district and ultimately to the high school and to other neighborhoods that are outside of town.”

The trail would be a double-win for avid cyclist and owner of new bike repair business Two Wheels Trading Co. Jeff Schmitz.

“Once the trail comes, I think it will add another element of people wanting to ride bikes and coming to the store,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz said right now cycling in Brown County is a challenge and a matter of safety.

“It’s a little hard any time cycling around here, just because of the traffic and to find a safe route,” Schmitz said. “[This time of year] you have to watch for patchy ice, water, thinning water, etc.”

Teefy said construction on the Clark Park loop will start in Spring 2023.

Brown County Trailways Master Plan
Brown County Trailways Master Plan(Brown County)

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