Lander Community Gathers for Opening of New Flowin’ Johnny Trail

We had a great time at the dedication for the new Flowin’ Johnny beginner trail Saturday at the Johnny Behind the Rocks Trail System (JBR), near Lander, WY. The event, hosted by our primary partners in the development of Flowin’ Johnny, the Lander Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Lander Cycling, and sponsored by one of our benefactors, the LOR Foundation, was the official opening of the full Flowin’ Johnny Trail loop.

This new beginner-focused trail, which is part of the planned 40+ mile trail expansion at JBR, provides all levels of trail users a scenic, fun and flowy trail experience that takes users up along the amazing rock formations at JBR and along the base of Red Ridge, to make an approximately 2 mile loop. The first half of the trail was completed last year and this year’s construction, which required material to be brought in to stabilize the soil and some specialized construction techniques, completes the project.

Turnout for the event was great and the weather cooperated with a perfect cool fall day for outdoor recreation, with the predicted rain just sneaking in as things were wrapping-up in the early afternoon. Attendees were welcomed to the event with coffee and tea provided by Balsam Root Coffee and tasty platters of food provided by Prairie Fire Catering.

After attendees were plied with food and drink, Pathways Lander Active Transportation Director and de facto event MC, Michael Kusiek got the dedication ceremony going with the introduction of Jared Oakleaf, BLM Acting Wyoming State Office Outdoor Recreation Planner and one of the primary drivers of the trail development at JBR, to say a few word. Jared and the BLM have been amazing partners to work with, providing both vision and resources to move the trail expansion at JBR forward.

Following Jared, Pathways’ Executive director Tim Young spoke about the partnerships and community involvement that are so important to projects like this and then Lander Cycling President, Aaron Foster spoke about Lander Cycling’s involvement as an organization and noted the important individual contributions to this project, and local trail development in general, made by Scott Van Orman and Bike Mill Owner, Rio Rose.

We were also honored that Fremont County Commissioner, Mike Jones was also able to attend and speak at the event. He wrapped-up the ceremony by talking about how supportive he was of the work going on at JBR and how pleased he was pleased to see the level of enthusiasm and support for the new trail from the community.

After the dedication ceremony, attendees were invited to go and check out the new trail. Little coaxing was needed to get the kids and families out on the trail, as families either hiked or took advantage of strider bikes provided by Gannett Peak Elementary and the free adult bike rentals provided by Gannett Sports to experience Flowin’ Johnny. To made sure that everyone’s bikes were in good working order and ready to enjoy the new trail, the Bike Mill provided free bike adjustments.

With rain beginning, the event wrapped-up around 1pm and it seemed like everyone who attended had a good time and enjoyed the new trail. We hope to continue working with our partners to continue the JBR trail expansion in the Spring or early Summer of 2022. We can’t wait to get started.

We also want to thank County10 for coming out to cover the event. They published a nice article about the event that can be viewed here: https://county10.com/flowin-johnny-celebrated-saturday/.