Posted: Sep 28, 2012 6:02 PM by Victoria Fregoso-Q2 News
Updated: Sep 29, 2012 6:46 AM
12 years of work and 35 miles later, the Billings trail system is quite a site to see.
"The experience and the views and just the overall opportunity to get to know your community on bike is great," says John Brewer with the Billings Chamber of Commerce.
The trail winds along the Yellowstone River and the rims.
"We're in a unique opportunity to take advantage of that geography and see some really great stuff around Billings," said Nash Emrich, Bikenet President.
The newest addition is by Swords Park. The existing trail along the rims was extended to Black Otter Trail Road and then continues under Airport Road. A lot of money, time and labor has gone into the trails but along the route you come to busy intersections that can be a bit tricky to cross.
"We have a lot of really great trail segments around town but we want to make sure that we have those connected so people can use them for transportation as well as the recreation and have longer rides without having to get involved with traffic."
Since the trail was created, it has gained a large amount of support from the community. Three years ago, the Billings Chamber of Commerce got on board.
"Businesses we know will relocate to communities that have a strong quality of life and a trail system is a big part of that," Brewer said. "People will relocate to a community that they can enjoy and get out on the trails and have a good time."
Every year the number of people that use the trail increases. So Bikenet plans to make additions for years to come. One of Bikenet's goals is to complete a marathon loop. That plan would connect several paths to make one long 26 mile loop.
"I can't really see an ending point," Emrich said. "There's so many more miles that could be built and connections that can be made."