A Loss for the Rail-Trail Community: Missouri Trail Champion Darwin Hindman Passes Away at 86

Posted 06/18/19 by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in America's Trails

Katy Trail State Park | Photo by TrailLink user ryskat

On June 16, the rail-trail community lost one of its giants with the passing of Darwin Hindman, a lifelong champion for active communities and a driving force behind active transportation strides across the state of Missouri.

Darwin Hindman | Photo courtesy Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Darwin Hindman | Photo courtesy Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

As a citizen activist in the 1980s and five-term mayor in his hometown of Columbia, Mo. (1995-2010), Hindman’s efforts to construct nearly 100 miles of side trails, pedways and bike paths has made Columbia one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the nation.

RTC had the privilege of witnessing Hindman’s prowess firsthand as he helped to secure $25 million in federal funding under the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program to develop a multi-modal transportation system in Columbia, leading to its consistent ranking as one of the most livable cities in the country.

Perhaps most notable, however, is the lasting gift Hindman helped to provide, not only to the state of Missouri, but to the entire country—the 237-mile Katy Trail State Park—a project he was instrumental in convincing former Missouri Governor John Ashcroft and the state legislature to convert from an unused rail line. The Katy Trail is now one of the most recognizable and successful rail-trails in the country.

We hope the community will join us as we pause to say a quiet “thank you” and reflect on Darwin Hindman’s significant contributions to the trails movement.

Related: Pathway to Prosperity: Missouri's Katy Trail Is a Beautiful Model for Commerce

At the request of Darwin's family, memorial gifts honoring his trail-building legacy can be made to RTC below or at railstotrails.org/darwin.

Make a Memorial Gift

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