About the Rock Island Rail Corridor

Background Information

The Rock Island Rail Corridor is a 17.7 mile former freight and passenger rail corridor, acquired by Jackson County in partnership with the KCATA in 2016. The goal of the acquisition is to develop a multi-modal corridor that will serve current and future transportation needs in the heart of Jackson County. In 2021, the County completed the first phases of the Rock Island Trail, a 13.5 mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway, running from Truman Sports Complex southeast to Raytown and ending in southeast Lee’s Summit. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority envisions a future transit project on the Rock Island, but that project has yet to be determined.

Note: The County Department formerly known as the Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority (RIRCA), has been reorganized as a division of Jackson County Parks + Rec.  More information can be found here: https://www.makeyourdayhere.com/Parks-Lakes/Trails-At-a-Glance

The Rock Island Trail

Phase One:

The 13.5 mile Rock Island Trail was split into two construction projects. Phase One was 6.5 miles from Brickyard Road in Kansas City and ending at Jefferson Street in southeast Lee’s Summit. This trail was completed in June of 2019 and is open to the public. There are two trailheads/parking areas: 98th Street Trailhead and Hartman Park.

Phase Two:

Phase Two of the trail project runs 7.1 miles the from Truman Sports Complex to Brickyard Road. This trail was completed in July of 2021 and is open to the public. There are three trailheads/parking areas: Woodson Road, Railroad Street, and Truman Sports Complex . Please note that the Truman Sports Trailhead will be closed for Chiefs games and other select events at Arrowhead Stadium.


Future Phases:

Several future phases are important to the success of the Rock Island Trail. The Greenwood Connector, a multi-phased approach to connecting to the Katy Trail would finally connect the Kansas City region to the statewide Katy trail system. This will likely take place over multiple construction projects as funding allows. Phase 1 and 2 are already in planning stages, with Phase 1 currently funded. The County is actively working with the City of Greenwood and other stakeholders to plan and construct this important trail.

Greenwood Connector Map(PDF, 682KB)

On the north end of the trail is another important project, the Blue River Connector. This project would allow trail users to connect to the Rock Island from the Blue River trail and Brush Creek Trails, creating a link to many Kansas City neighborhoods and The Plaza. 

Connecting to the Little Blue Trace is another project that is important to the County. The Rock Island / Little Blue Trace connector is currently in planning stages and would connect the two trails near 350 and Noland Road.

Rock Island/Little Blue Trace Connector map(PDF, 146KB)

To view all of our trails and relevant information, visit Trails-at-a-Glance