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Rolla Trails


In 1991, the federal government passed the first of several consecutive laws that set aside money for the rehabilitation of the country’s transportation system, including funding to provide alternatives to automotive travel. Funds are allocated to state transportation departments who administer them to local agencies as Surface Transportation Program (STP) Enhancement grants to be used for intermodal transportation based projects. These grants are structured as cost-share projects with the local agency typically providing up to 30% of the cost of the project. For more information, please visit


The majority of the grants have been utilized to fund a multi-phase project intended to provide a comprehensive bike and pedestrian sidewalk network for the citizens of Rolla and surrounding areas. To date, the City of Rolla has received nine separate grants to build pedestrian bike paths. The first phase, completed in 1997, consisted of the installation of approximately 1.6 miles of sidewalk from the Visitor Center on Bridge School Road to and around the Missouri S&T Golf Course. The second and third phases, completed in 2000 and 2002 respectively, saw the completion of the now well known Acorn Trail which completes a loop through the central portion of town. Phases IV and V connected the east side of Rolla to the existing trail with the construction of a pedestrian bike path on Highway 72 and one on Tenth Street. Construction of the Deible Loop Pedestrian bike path in 2010 and Coventry Trail in 2011 brought the total miles of bike paths to approximately 11. Future phases of the Deible Loop and Coventry Trail, as well as the "University Loop" and a trail along Highway E, will provide an additional 5.35 miles.


Today, transportation enhancement grants have moved toward trails and transportation-related projects that either compliment or enhance the environment. By advocating these multi-use facilities, local agencies can be a part of preserving the environment, a quality that is vitally important in a town that prides itself on its cleanliness, peaceful surroundings, an extensive park system and various outdoor activities. Rolla’s multi-use pedestrian bike path network addresses environmental needs by providing safe routes for non-motorized travel. The trails are open to pedestrians, cyclists, in-line skaters, skate boarders and joggers. Typically trail design will include the use of existing scenic and natural qualities to enhance the end-user experience. Many stretches of trail are built in undevelopable areas of the flood plain or through park land and follow the existing topography, minimizing disturbances to local plants and animals. In addition, the health benefits of walking, running and cycling are well known and the pedestrian bike path network has become a welcome addition to many individuals’ exercise routine. With the availability of future grant funding and support from the community, the City of Rolla will strive to continue expanding this feature. It’s an improvement we can all be proud of!


Along with the citizens of the community, the success of the pedestrian/bike path network can be attributed to numerous organizations, including:

  • City of Rolla
  • ACORN (A Community Organization to Restore Nature)
  • Missouri S&T
  • The Rolla Garden Club
  • The Community Partnership
  • Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ozark Rivers Audubon Society
  • U.S. Forestry Service
  • Forest Relief Missouri
  • Missouri Department of Transportation


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