BOZEMAN — Main Street to the Mountains: It’s a plan that’s been in the works for twenty years, and as of Saturday it’s a reality.
The City of Bozeman, Gallatin Valley Land Trust and members of the community celebrated the completion of the 2.2 mile long trail that connects Main Street to the base of the Bridger Mountains.
The trail provides a safe way for users to travel from downtown to major recreation destinations.
“We love our outdoors. I mean, the number of people that are out today while it’s snowing like crazy is a pretty good indication of that,” said Chris Mehl, Bozeman deputy mayor.
“If you’re a mother, you can now send your 12-year old or 14-year old out to the 'M' knowing that they’re going to be on trails, not on a major road,” said Mehl.
The completed trail is a paved, shared-use path that includes an underpass connecting the Drinking Horse hiking trail all the way up to the college “M" trail.
The path was funded by the City of Bozeman Trails, Open Space and a parks bond which was approved by Bozeman voters in 2012.
“It was a $15 million bond. We stretched that money as far as possible. On this project for example, every dollar of bond money was matched by five dollars of other money,” said Mehl. “So it’s really a community effort where that dollar is stretched as much as possible.”
There was coffee and hot chocolate to celebrate the ribbon cutting Saturday morning.
People who attended the celebration couldn’t wait to start breaking in the new trail.
“It’s a great community to live in because there’s so many projects going on,” said mountain biker and resident of Bozeman, Adam Oliver. “It’s a really connected community and a lot of fun.”