MORIT (Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc.) is a 501c3 non profit coalition of citizens and communities. Our mission is to preserve the Rock Island Corridor and building a hiking and biking trail.
Preserving the Rock Island Corridor for interim trail use has been a dream of many since the 1990’s when the first attempt to rail bank the corridor was almost successful. Subsequently, the corridor was sold in 1999 to Missouri Central Railroad (MCRR) a subsidiary of Ameren. It was not until 2014 that the corridor again became available for possible rail banking.
In 2012 citizens in Gerald, Rosebud, Owensville, Bland, and Owensville formed the Meramec Regional Rock Island Coalition to investigate converting approximately 35 miles of the inactive Rock Island Corridor to a walking and biking trail. About the same time, citizens in Eldon organized the Eldon Task Force and obtained permission from MCRR to build a trail next to the railroad bed. Volunteers in Eldon removed 110 loads of trash and vegetation from the 3 mile corridor within the Eldon city limits in preparation for building a trail.
Adding 144 miles of Rock Island Trail to the 47 miles that opened December 2016 as a state park
Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc. was formed as a 501c3 in 2014 and the first board of directors was elected. With many communities along the entire corridor interested in a recreational trail, MORIT very quickly expanded to represent the interests of all communities along the Rock Island Corridor. In October 2014, Ameren Missouri graciously agreed to work with MO State Parks to rail bank the Rock Island Corridor from Windsor to Beaufort for trail use. A smaller section from Windsor to Pleasant Hill was already in the process of being rail banked and transferred to MO State Parks and will be the first completed section of the new Rock Island Trail State Park. The Rock Island Trail will intersect the Katy Trail at Windsor. When completed the Rock Island and Katy Trails will form a 459 loop world class trail unlike any other trail.
The process of rail banking, removal of track and ties and trail building will take time. MORIT has received much support from Rails to Trails Conservancy, a national trail advocacy group based in Washington DC as well as Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, a state advocacy group.
To find out more about our history click here.