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About the Author

Ted Villaire is the author of Best Rail Trails Illinois and five other guidebooks focusing on hiking, bicycling and camping in Illinois. He serves as the editorial manager at the Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago.


Trail of Years
By Ted Villaire

s the iconic Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) passes the half-century mark this year,
the Chicago-area rail-trail displays its remarkable success in many ways. Swarms of people use the trail year-round. Towns all along the 62-mile route hail it as a community asset. Hundreds of people show up on cleanup days to keep the trail groomed and proud. And then there are the four volunteers—two married couples—who over the decades have contributed ideas, elbow grease and countless hours to get the path off the ground and into the hearts of local residents.

Jean and Paul Mooring and Nancy and Dick Wilson have led a small but determined group of tireless volunteers who have planned, built and bolstered the IPP, even when there was no roadmap for doing so.

Read the complete article by Ted Villaire:

 Trail of Years (PDF/740KB)

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