I am writing this letter in support of the Joseph Branch Trail. My wife and I have traveled extensively throughout the United States and we have bicycled on a number of “rail trails.” These trails that we've experienced have been widely used by families and individuals as opportunities to bike, walk and run without the risks associated with vehicular traffic.

The Elroy-Sparta Trail in Wisconsin was one of the first of these trails. Along it we found small farm stands offering baked goods and produce from local farmers. The Root River Trail in southern Minnesota passes through many small towns with busy restaurants, bakeries, shops and inns catering to the bicyclists who visit.

On a recent trip, economic benefits were evident by the quaint inns we found. 

On the Pine Creek Trail in Pennsylvania and the Chessie Nature Trail in Virginia we biked in the solitude of forests and amongst grazing cattle.

The Peavine Trail in Arizona passes amazing rock formations and pristine lakes. And in Oregon, we enjoy riding the Banks-Vernonia trail. 

On all these trails, we have felt safe and enjoyed the company of other users with similar respect for our environment. We have always appreciated the opportunity to learn more about each area, away from the typical roadside attractions. I believe that the Joseph Branch Trail can provide similar economic support to the area, as well as a benefit to the quality of life for the area citizens.

John Vanderwall


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