Wyoming An Important Piece of The Great American Rail-Trail
Wyoming is set to play an important role in the continued development of the Great American Rail-Trail, a 3700+ mile multi-use path across America, completely separated from road traffic. The Rail-Trail will connect over 125 existing trails and is currently around 52% complete. With around 1700 miles remaining to be completed and connected, the Rails to Trails Coalition will be the primary organization responsible for seeing the project through to completion. Wyoming is smack dab in the middle of the preferred route of the trail and will play a role in how it grows and develops over time.
A large portion of the Rail-Trail wends it way through Wyoming and Casper, WY is one of 13 Gateway Cities identified as a key component of the Rail-Trail. In early 2018, when momentum for the cross-country trail was just starting to build, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead appointed a task force to develop recommendations for active transportation and recreation infrastructure investments. The group’s report encouraged the state to invest $10 million annually and includes the Great American Rail-Trail as a high-priority project to be supported by state agencies.
If you want to learn more about the Great American Rail-Trail, check out this article on the Rails to Trails website: https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2019/may/08/from-dream-to-national-treasure-the-great-american-rail-trail/.
The article discusses some of the reasons that the Trail could be a boon to the Wyoming economy by bringing cycling and other outdoor recreation tourists to the state. There is also a nice quote from Wyoming Pathways Executive Director, Tim Young and includes the photo to the right. The article covers the history and promise of this ambitious project that is over half-way to becoming a reality.