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What if cyclists, equestrians and hikers could ride and walk between two communities on 10 miles of natural surface (dirt) trail along a lightly-used rail line connecting through beautiful pastoral countryside?
Community leaders in the Paige-McDade area of northern Bastrop County and BikeTexas staff met twice in late November 2008 and early December 2008 to gauge local interest and to discuss how this trail can become a reality. Residents have initially expressed a strong interest in the project.
Two major resources needed for this project are already in place. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) has awarded a grant to BikeTexas for $100,000 and the operator of the railroad has signed a contract with BikeTexas allowing use of a narrow easement to the side of the rails for a token fee.
The TPWD grant covers direct construction costs (not overhead), requires a 20% match of cash or in-kind services and materials, and pays only reimbursement after expenses have been incurred. BikeTexas has learned after years of experience with reimbursement grants (on trail development and kids’ bike safety programs) from several state and federal agencies that upfront operating funds are also needed for such grants.
BikeTexas is still seeking an additional $30,000 before the project can start. As part of this fundraising effort, BikeTexas is asking interested persons in the Paige-McDade area as well as around Central Texas to make tax-deductible donations to an escrow fund that will be held for this project. The BikeTexas Education Fund, which will manage the funds, is registered with the IRS under Tax ID Number 74-2602165. If you would like to donate to this escrow fund, please click here to be redirected to our Paige to McDade donation page.
If the project does not proceed, donors have the option of directing their donation to other non-profit efforts in the Paige-McDade area or with BikeTexas Education Fund bicycle safety programs, or they may request a refund.