BILLINGS — In June, MTN News reported that an abandoned rail line in West Yellowstone was given the green light to become a world class hiking and biking trail. Earlier this week, the project came one step closer to going from a rail to a trail.
The Yellowstone Shortline Trail announced this week that it secured a $750,000 grant from the Dr. Dumke Foundation, which will help start construction this spring.
The 9-mile section of the old Oregon Shortline Railroad will soon become a 10-foot-wide, compact-gravel trail, complete with bridges, benches, pavilions and interpretive signage.
Shortline Committee Member, Kelli Hart says the community is excited.
“You know the dream of having this pathway... we see it as just another reason for people to come to West Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park has always and will always be a reason for most everybody to come and visit our town, but we're thinking how wonderful this pathway is going to be for people to come and to get outside, still social distance in a wonderful way. It's going to be such a wonderful addition to our little town,” Hart said.
To date, over $1.25 million has been raised by individuals and businesses. The committee is looking to raise an additional $3 million for long-term maintenance of the trail and to make it ADA compliment.
If you would like to donate to the project, log onto www.yellowstoneshortlinetrail.org.
They are hoping the trail will be operational by late summer, early fall.