Thanks to a deal with the American Discovery Trail Society, the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau soon will assume management of the nation’s only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail.
The Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau will manage the trail organization’s business affairs, including membership, financial and marketing services, according to Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the bureau.
The 6,800-mile trail, which stretches across 15 states from California to Delaware, runs through 11 towns in the Quad-City area for almost 55 miles.
In 2013, the trail society’s board of directors held its annual meeting in Davenport, and they were impressed, according to a news released issued by the tourism bureau.
In the release, Eric Seaborg, board chairman of the society who lives in Charlottesville, Va., said he was "taken by the community’s enthusiasm for trails and its hospitality for trail users."
Meanwhile, the transcontinental trail, which includes the Great River Trail and part of the Mississippi River Trail in the Quad-Cities, is set to be discussed next week in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., introduced a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to install signage along the trail; although, the bill as written says no federal funding can be to pay for signage.
Taylor said the trail society’s ultimate goal is to become an official part of the National Trails System, which would unlock federal funding and accelerate development. Efforts, which have failed up to this point, to have the trail designated as a national scenic trail began in 1991.
The legislative hearing has been scheduled before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on National Parks.
Taylor said the signage could serve as consolation in the meantime.
“If we have to compromise through the political process, we’re willing to do that."