Connecting the Rail Trail: Bridge over the river opens to pedestrians, bikers

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What was once a railroad bridge is now a part of the 24.5 mile Kickapoo Rail Trail.

The old Possum Trot trestle bridge over the Middle Fork Vermilion River was repurposed to connect the trail between Oakwood and Danville. Exactly a century after the quarter-mile overpass was built for train traffic, walkers and bikers hit the path.

Pictured is the old Possum Trot trestle bridge while it was under reconstruction in October 2020.

This portion of the trail officially opened Friday.

“This stretch here from Oakwood to Danville is all tree-lined. It’s a nice center path, it’s real smooth,” a biker shared as he crossed the bridge.

“There were Black-eyed Susans that were blooming on either side. It’s just like nothing else you’ll find in central Illinois.”

If heights scare you, this portion of the trail may not be for you.

Eventually, the Kickapoo Rail Trail will connect all the way from Urbana to Danville. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Superintendent Tim Edison said parts of it are still in progress.

The trestle bridge is accessible from the Vermilion County Fairgrounds. However, there isn’t designated parking. Edison said a parking lot is under construction just west of the bridge. He expects it to be completed in September.

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