Sterling council OKs easements for Park District recreational trail to Sauk

When finished, probably sometime in 2027 or ’28, the Sterling Park District's biking, jogging and walking path will run 4.2 miles, from Hoover Park on Sterling’s east end, to the Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. On Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, the City Council approved granting the Park District four easements to build the rest of the trail, shown here

STERLING – Now that the Park District’s latest section of its multiuse trail to Sauk Valley Community College is finished, it’s ready to begin work on the next phase.

The nuts and bolts needed were provided Monday by the Sterling City Council, which agreed to provide the necessary easements, four in all, totaling .68 acres of land.

When finished, probably sometime in 2027 or 2028, the Community Recreational Trail, a biking, jogging and walking path, will run 4.2 miles, from Hoover Park, next to Woodlawn Arts Academy at 3807 Woodlawn Road on Sterling’s east end, to the college at 173 state Route 2 in Dixon.

The first section was built from the Hoover Park parking lot to Parkview Road, behind the academy, then an existing path off Woodlawn Road was widened, all for about $120,000.

The most recent section, a half-mile leg from Woodlawn Road to River Road, was finished in mid-June and cost about $235,000.

Construction on the next section, three-quarters of a mile from River Road to 43rd Avenue, just east of the Walmart Supercenter, will begin after the harvest and will cost about $400,000. It should be finished in late spring or early summer, Park District Director Larry Schuldt has said.

So far, donations have paid the bills, but the $3 million needed to get the path all the way to Sauk likely will come from federal transportation grants, which the district will apply for in August, Schuldt said.

The Dixon City Council and Lee County also are pursuing a planning grant for a bike trail to Sauk.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.