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story.lead_photo.caption The 144-mile Rock Island Trail would stretch from Windsor to Beaufort.

The first section of new biking and hiking trail created on an abandoned rail line has opened in the Kansas City area.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony that's planned for June 1 for the Rock Island Trail will make it official. The 6.4-mile section of trail stretches from southern Kansas City to the nearby suburb of Lee's Summit.

Advocates say that when another stretch is completed, it will attract thousands of hikers and cyclists and spur new development. Eventually, the county hopes to connect the trail to the 240-mile Katy Trial.

Highlights of the new stretch of trail include a section of that passes through the 453-foot long Vale Tunnel, which was completed in 1904. Trains stopped using the rail line in the early 1980s.

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