Decision Made to Convert 9.25 Miles of Rail to Trail near West Yellowstone – Partners Needed to Make Trail Reality
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 16, 2019

West Yellowstone, MT – The Hebgen Lake Ranger District recently released a Decision to convert approximately 9.25 miles of the abandoned Oregon Short Line rail bed into a multi-use path that can be used for multiple non-motorized recreation activities including biking, walking and running.  The route will run from West Yellowstone, MT to Reas Pass on the Idaho/Montana border and be one segment of the larger conceptual Greater Yellowstone Rail Trail, totaling 104 miles in length and connecting West Yellowstone, MT through Victor, ID to Jackson, WY.

The growth of tourism and recreation in and around the Town of West Yellowstone has exploded in recent years in relation to increases in visitation to Yellowstone National park, with 44% of the four million visitors to the Park coming through the West Entrance in 2016.

This trail will provide a great trail experience for all ages and skill levels.  While the Hebgen Lake Ranger District offers many motorized and non-motorized summer trail opportunities, few are considered family friendly biking opportunities.

The Decision calls for gravelling or paving (depending on funding) the trail.  The current surface is sand making for a poor biking surface.  Other work to be done includes spot brushing to clear vegetation, installing three bridges needed to cross the South Fork of the Madison River, and installing small benches or picnic tables at strategically placed resting stops.

Jason Brey, Hebgen Lake District Ranger states “to make this a reality we really need the assistance of partners.  We are hoping interested donors and organizations will pitch in to create this family friendly trail experience for residents and visitors.”

For additional information please contact the Hebgen Lake Ranger District at (406) 823-6961

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