Section 508 Navigation
American Trails graphic Skip Navigation
HomeAbout usTrailsWhat's hotCalendarTrainingResources & libraryPartnersJoin usStore

Recreational Trails Program Award

2004 Recreational Trails Program Awards

Sweetser Switch Trail Project

Project sponsor: : Town of Sweetser, Grant County, Indiana
Award Category: Construction & Design (Long Distance)
2004 Annual Achievement Award winner: for trail projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration

railroad style crossbuck trail sign
Signs on the Sweetser Switch Trail

In 2003, the small Grant County, Indiana town of Sweetser completed asphalting its three mile path called the Sweetser Switch Trail. During the first year of construction, the town of Sweetser carried out five unique steps.

One accomplishment was the the town's establishment of a parks department. While this many not seem special, it is important to note that Sweetser is so small (population 906) a parks department seems to be unnecessary.

Within a year the Sweetser Switch Trail was open, after obtaining the old rail corridor, faster than any other rail-train in Indiana.

photo of wildflowers


Interestingly, this first mile was opened on a zero budget, achieved by donations of materials to build a bridge, trades of fine crushed limestone to replace heavier railroad ballast, and by voluntary labor and equipment to build the bridge and prepare the trail surface.

Volunteers were such an important factor both during construction and then later that virtually the whole town has been engaged. Also in this first phase, the community contracted a trail bridge with benches. As other phases asphalted the trail RTP funds also paid for lighting, both electrical and solar.

benches and planters along trail
Rest stop along the trail

For more great trails, see:





arrow See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages

arrow See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages

AWARDS and recognition programs:

Related topics:

More resources:


photo of trail worker

page end graphic

American Trails home | Contact us | Mission | Board of directors | Members | Site map | Copyright | NRT | NTTP