Trail Worker 2015 - Mike Kuepper

 This is a very exciting time for the Nickel Plate Trail.

Mike Kuepper, president of Nickel Plate Trail, Inc. was proclaimed the 2015 Trail Worker by American Trails on May 19, 2015. A national recognition of the effort and achievement of this man on building one of the most prominent trails in Indiana.

This award comes in time to celebrate a very astounding accomplishment; the connection long strived for, to get the trail into Kokomo. The two mile extension south of Cassville allows the Nickel Plate Trail to burst into the largest town the trail crosses through its length. This changes the identity of this trail from a rural connector of very small communities to a major alternative transportation link in central Indiana, connecting Kokomo directly to Rochester.

Amazingly, this success looks much more like a promise of much more to come rather than the completion of a single trail.

Kokomo is working hard to connect the Nickel Plate Trail from where it ended at US 35 north of Kokomo. The Industrial Heritage Trail implemented to the south of Kokomo is under development in downtown with a major restyling of the street landscape. The building of the asphalt trail to the north will directly connect from the south to north the entire town of Kokomo to the Nickel Plate Trail.

As every deed that gains success requires a leader; the Nickel Plate Trail’s President Mike Kuepper, with his mix of gentle manners and determinate decisions and actions, is the front man of the Friends of The Nickel Plate Trail group. The American Trail’s 2015 Trail Worker though, is not satisfied with the Nickel Plate’s achievements as a 40 mile designated American Discovery Trail that allows one to ride through the heart of Hoosier land, as well as being part of the soon-to-be designated USBR #35 Bike Route, making the Nickel Plate, connected in central Indiana from east to west, and north to south, the core for wide rides through our state.

Mike Kuepper has already started land acquisition for the future project of connecting the Nickel Plate Trail with the Cardinal Greenway, now ending in Sweetser, Indiana. With this project, another major work is underway to become the next major achievement for this man.

Thanks Mike for your passion and dedication and for all that you are giving to our community.


Watch Mike Kuepper talking about the Nickel Plate Trail development and vision: