Covered Bridge Gateway Trail
CBGTA, bet on the future: Give back to the community.
On April 24th 2015, the Covered Bridge Gateway Trails Association (CBGTA) cheered the official completion of a 6/10 of a mile trail section in Rosedale, Parke County in Indiana.
As Jim Montgomery, CBGTA’s secretary, says, don’t get fooled; the surface’s water may seem calm but the duck is paddling hard under it. CBGTA has worked vigorously in the past six years to make the reality of a trail a very ambitious project that will connect Terre Haute through Rosedale and Rockville to the future extension of the B & O with the goal to reach, up north, Turkey Run State Park. This planned 27 mile trail will be an integral part of a 150 mile loop connecting Parke County with Terre Haute and Indianapolis.
What we captured on the video recorded at the ribbon-cutting of this first section of the corridor are two valuable, though less tangible benefits of trail building: The proudness of a group of people that is finally able to physically show the first results of their work which made possible the acquisition of more than seven miles of corridor between the south Parke County line near Rosedale and Rockville’s Depot. And, their words expressing the surprise and excitement of what the choice to embrace this adventure brought back to them.
The motto is: Give back to the community!
And in fact they have built a new “family” of professionals, retired people, and volunteer workers who have given their expertise, money and lands for a vison; as Jim expressed, with passion. A collective effort to revitalize the entire Parke County; a place full of potential with its beautiful nature and richness in history and culture, using the Covered Bridge Gateway Trail as a catalyst to attract new people.
Bringing back on stage the historic economic importance of Parke County’s coal mines while focusing on today’s available quality of life resources requires a strategic move pointing to connectivity with a look to the future.
The CBGTA heavily bet on alternative transportation to rebuild the old splendor of their own county. It meant enabling the extension, or bend if you prefer, of the axis of the National Road Heritage Trail (NRHT) that will connect Terre Haute to Indianapolis with the other long ago (22 years) envisioned project; the B & O Trail that will run from Indy west to Montezuma. This will make Parke County the connector, but also a much desired destination for all kinds of tourism driven by the goal of moving away from cars as a singular mode of transportation.
The completion of this 150 mile loop is a long term plan for the NRHT, B & O, and CBGT which are all part of the “INDIANA STATE TRAILS, GREENWAYS AND BIKEWAYS PLAN.” Terre Haute will build the part of the trail that will connect to the Parke county line, and the B & O Trails Association paw the ground in the effort to connect east to Indianapolis and start build west.
It will take time, yes. But the big news is small communities think big, large, and forward connecting with other organizations, groups and institutions to create something completely new. To the existing examples of the Indiana North West Trail System, and the City-wide Trail Systems of Indy, Fort Wayne and any medium size town in Indiana, we can now add a new concept of “systemic” alternative transportation---the built long distance trail system and the accompanying lifting of spirits of the included communities.
We think the first example of this new vision will be the United States Bicycle Route #35 (USBR#35) running north to south through all of Indiana. We wish the first ribs crossing east west through our nation to be this project. Besides our attachment to the iconic US 41, after driving through Parke County, we really think it’s deserving to be rediscovered in all its beauty.
Hip-hip Hooray, and a big thank to all the people of the Covered Bridge Gateway Trail Association!