St Clair County Transit District will celebrate the opening of the St. Ellen Park Trail – a $265,000 project that features an approximately one-mile long and 10-foot-wide paved path, running from Old Collinsville Road to Hartman Lane on Monday,  November 15 at 10 a.m. at the entrance of St. Ellen Park, located at 200 St. Ellen Mine Road, O’Fallon, IL 62269.   This new trail allows for easier access to St. Ellen Park, a formerly abandoned coal strip mine transformed in 1990 by St. Clair County Park into a 200-acre space featuring walking trails, fishing and picnic pavilions. The newest segment consists of a half-mile constructed trail to St. Ellen Park that seamlessly connects to a fully renovated, 20-year-old, existing half-mile section previously operated by the City of O’Fallon. The trail provides residents with greater access to St. Ellen Park, Joseph Arthur Middle School, Central Elementary School and hundreds of nearby households. This project was made possible thanks to partnerships between St. Clair County Transit District, the City of O’Fallon and the Caseyville Township, which provided the no-cost easement necessary for St. Clair County Transit District to construct this trail. The event will feature brief remarks from local leaders before allowing those in attendance to explore the trail.

The St. Ellen Park Trail will eventually connect to Phases I, II, III and IV of the Old Collinsville Road Trail connecting from Lebanon Ave. in Belleville to Ashland Ave. in Fairview Heights. The four phases total approximately 3.5 miles of new trail connecting to additional parks and to the 15-mile St. Clair County Transit District MetroBikeLink Trail System. These amenities provide access to six MetroLink stations and four different communities throughout the region.  Prior to these improvements, the system was comprised of a four-mile trail, running from Southwestern Illinois College to the Belleville MetroLink Station. Since then, it has expanded to include the Swansea MetroLink, Fairview Heights and Shiloh-Scott sections, as well as the Englemann Park Connector and the SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II.