“Grand opening” celebration is set for Saturday, June 1, for the new 33-mile “north loop” of the Raccoon River Valley Trail, with most of the activities set in the town of Perry. Officials say the event will have the look, feel and fun “similar to what you experience when you bike into a town on RAGBRAI.” Get the date on your 2013 calendars now, and we’ve got a flyer here that you can print out and distribute to your pals!
PERRY, Iowa, January 15, 2013 – Officials of the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association have set Saturday, June 1, for the “grand opening” celebration of the new 33-mile north loop on the trail. Appropriately, the day of the celebration falls on what will be recognized as “National Trails Day” across the U.S.
The celebration will be held in the town of Perry, the largest of the communities on the new loop, with activities happening throughout the day and evening. A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for 12 noon, and it is expected that it will be attended by state and regional officials, as well as representatives of all the towns on the trail. Members of the RRVT Association board of directors, who are planning the celebration, say they expect to present “a fun environment, similar to what you experience when you bike into a town on RAGBRAI.” Delegations of bicyclists will be encouraged to ride to Perry from all other RRVT towns, and the first group to announce they’ll do that is the Cyclists Of Greene (COG) bike club based in Jefferson.
The grand opening activities are being promoted in a new flyer which is being circulated now, and you can get your copy of it by clicking here.
Construction is now nearing completion on the new loop, with the last of the paving being done on two stretches of about two miles each — one of them between Dawson and the Dallas-Guthrie County lines, and the other between Jamaica and Herndon. Both of those sections will be finished in springtime, if not sooner, as will be all of the shoulder work and signage on the loop.
The RRVT opened in 1989, with 34 miles of asphalt surface from Waukee to Yale. It was extended several times over the next 10 years, until it reached a length of 56 miles, from Waukee to Jefferson. The entire 33 miles of the new north loop have a concrete surface, built with state-of-the-art trail design. The new total of 89 miles of paved trail will make the RRVT one of the longest paved trails in the U.S. And the new 72-mile “loop” being created will be the longest interior loop on a trail in the nation.
The committee planning the June 1 celebration includes RRVT Association president Daniel Willrich and board members Bob Wilson, Cindy Jensen, Karen Sievers and Mike Wallace.
They said most of the celebration will happen in downtown Perry, with food vendors, music, special games and amusements for kids, a bicycle safety program, distribution and fitting of bike helmets, a “well-known band,” a beer tent, overnight camping and more.
More details will be announced as the celebration nears, but meantime, RRVT enthusiasts are urged to get the June 1 date on their calendars.