By Charles Pekow
A short but important trail in downtown Bozeman, Montana will be getting some needed attention and upgrading. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust is embarking on a project to fix and study the use of the 1.5-mile mainly-crushed stone Gallagator Linear Trail, which despite its short length connects museums, schools, the public library and other recreational and popular destinations.
The trust won a $15,000 grant from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (of which I am a member) for the project, beating out heavy competition for the grants this year. The trust plans to match that with about $45,000 from other private sources, says Associate Director Kelly Pohl. The project will repair and upgrade three bridges and create railings.
It will also use grant money to buy equipment to do trail counts. “We don't have any good trail count data. We don't understand the flow of bicycle and pedestrian traffic,” Pohl says. “It ends near (Montana State University) campus and we'd really like to extend it. We hope the trail counts will help us make the case for connectivity.”
The trust plans to start the counts in July and the work on the bridges this fall but may not complete the job till next spring.