Posted at: 09/16/2012 10:43 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Rushford Leaders Hope New Bike Trail will Bring More Tourism
(ABC 6 News) -- This creek, now low, was once part of the cause of flooding. In 2007, the flooding so bad in Rushford, that both houses and cars were under water. Five years later, the small town of Rushford is recovering and even making some additions- a new bike trail.
"What's really nice about the bike trail is it's gonna add a new experience for our residents and the visitors of our town," said Mayor Chris Hallum.
The Root River Trail already runs through Rushford, but this new addition made possible by a $300,000 grant from the DNR, provides more access to the town.
"It connects the state trail with the new creekside park," added Hallum.
While the trail provides a new, safe place for residents to walk or ride bike, it also brings in something much needed for businesses- tourism.
"Like any community, our restaurants, and other service industry simply cannot servive without outside dollars coming in that's just a fact of life," said Hallum.
"We need um tourism in a small town like this," said Shawn Mrozek.
She owns Shawnee's Bar; a popular Rushford Bar and Grill known for it's burgers that needs new faces to survive.
"It helps my business stay alive and strong and successful," said Mrozek.
Salvatore Marici is one of those new faces. He and his friends make an annual bike trip to the Root River Trail.
"We hit all the towns, but this is a stop that we always come to," said Marici.
But he says the reason for his stop in Rushford is the new bike trail.
"No we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the bike trail," he said.
Giving hope to both business owners and community members that the bike trail will help them to continue their recovery from that flood.
"These people, it's been hard for a lot of our residents in order to, well, to survive, especially for the business owners," said Hallum.
The Mayor says they are very thankful for that grant given to them by the DNR. People in the community seem to be very excited as well. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday to officially open the trail, but a time has not been set.