The Trails of Gallatin County

Have you ever gone hiking on a glorious summer day, only to come to a fork in the trail… that isn’t labeled? Ever been cruising along on your bike, just you and Montana, only to come to a crossroads full of speeding cars? If you’ve spent any time on the trails of Gallatin County, you know this is often the case. And these issues are exactly what the Gallatin County Interconnect is attempting to fix.
You’ve heard the talk—the Interconnect Challenge, the public surveys, the fiscal analysis. At a town meeting in January, the community was given another chance to voice their opinions and look over the results from recent paneling. The paneling results show that, despite the array of groups involved—business owners, ranchers, user groups, health advocates, etc., all with varying priorities—there are key issues important to every group, including trail maintenance and safety, maps, weed control, and primarily, disconnect between trails.
There’s still a chance for you to give your own opinion; just contact the trails committee or attend the next town meeting on April 6th. The month of June will be the “public comment” period, with multiple meetings open to the public. The committee says it wants to keep the community informed and will present a draft proposal before it is officially adopted, ideally at the end of June 2010.
Perhaps the dream of an interconnected trail system is still somewhat distant, but it’s getting closer. Maybe someday soon you’ll be able to bike with only the birds for company all the way from Bozeman to Belgrade. If this is your own personal fantasy, be a part of making it happen. Find out more at