Current affairs in and around the Bozone.
Bozeman is a-bustlin’. Housing prices, modern development, the traffic on 19th—this place is changing before our eyes. And while the traditional slogan of “if it bleeds, it leads” still holds true in many cases, not all news is bad news. Here are a few 2021 updates that deserve a thumbs-up.
Peets Hill Acquisition
Bozeman’s public spaces are one its most cherished belongings. This has only become clearer with recent growth and development. So, when GVLT landed a purchase of the 12-acre parcel on the south side of Peets Hill late this past summer, it was a sweet victory for much of the local community—especially considering the current real-estate climate. The parcel is a sloping hill that contains a trail connection between Peets Hill and Kagy Blvd. Though GVLT scored the contract, it’s not all said and done. The total cost of the project is around $1.6 million, and GVLT has until January to raise it. They’ve partnered with the City, and if successful in acquiring the funds, plan to transfer the land to Bozeman as parkland. With over 650 donations from all over the city, and some still trickling in, the nonprofit is well on its way. “What this tells us is that this park is a regional destination,” EJ Porth, GVLT’s associate director, said. “This is the livelihood of our town, and having the public and private come together to protect it is a pretty special thing.”
Trapper’s Cabin Ranch
There’s been a lot going on at Crosscut recently. With new mountain-bike trails, expanded biathlon courses, and renovated facilities, it’s been hard to keep up with all the improvements. Perhaps most notable was their recent acquisition of Trapper’s Cabin Ranch up the Taylor Fork, south of Big Sky. This property includes 640 acres and multiple cabins. Though public programs are still in the development process, Crosscut’s future vision is one of an “immersive wilderness experience” that allows students to detach from technology and engage more thoroughly with the natural world. Crosscut hosted tours of the property throughout the summer and fall and is now collaborating with area nonprofits to fine-tune program specifics. They’ll spend the spring of 2022 hashing out details, but it’s likely that they’ll host clinics on youth hunter safety, wilderness search & rescue, and avalanche training, as well as seminars on preservation and stewardship. Other activities will include fly fishing and horseback riding.
The way up to Hyalite may look (and feel) a little different this year. Instead of that famously bumpy, dusty stretch on the east side of the reservoir, the end of the road is quite a bit smoother now. Last August, the upper part of Hyalite Canyon Road was paved to the fork where the road splits and heads to either the Grotto Falls Trailhead or the East Fork Trailhead. Included in the paving were the Chisholm and Hood Creek Campgrounds. As nostalgic as the old road may be, it’s become incompatible with current visitation levels. Surveys conducted by Friends of Hyalite show that the area is seeing up to 50,000 people per month in the summer and 20,000 people per month in the winter. The new road, both paved and plowed, is safer, smoother, and more user-friendly than the old one.