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Billings Trailnet receives $5,000 grant from local REI store

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 19:19:08-04

BILLINGS- — On Thursday morning, Billings Trailnet was given a $5,000 grant from the Billings REI store off Shiloh Road.

Billings Trailnet says they will use this money to begin fundraising for the engineering of what they’re calling the Stagecoach Trail.

This trail would be placed near Zimmerman Trail and connect the valley to the Rims.

“Right now, we have to load up in our cars to get up to the Rims and then recreate. And what we’re trying to do is make it accessible for everybody to recreate whether they have a car or not,” says Kristi Drake, executive director of Billings Trailnet.

This project, however, is not scheduled and does not have enough money yet. Drake says the engineering alone will cost around a quarter of a million dollars, and the cost of the completed project could be upwards of $2 million.

Drake also says the project could take more than two years. In the meantime, Billings residents have plenty of other trails at their disposal.

“There's lots of different trails out here, which is really cool. It’s really like a hidden gem because we have really easy trails and then we kind of have some pretty difficult trails too. The really important thing is it's five minutes away from my house, its 10 minutes from my work. It’s just cool to have that so close to town and have miles and miles of it,” says McKay Martwig, a local trail enthusiast who been biking in the area for 14 years.

Billings Trailnet is currently selling tickets to their annual Ales for Trails, which will take place on Sept. 10 at ZooMontana.