Groups working to convert old railroad line in Paradise Valley to public trail

HELENA DORE Bozeman Daily Chronicle

A nonprofit has reached an agreement to transform 3 miles of old rail line near Emigrant into a public trail. Staff hope the project will catalyze a larger initiative to build a 49-mile trail between Yellowstone National Park and Livingston.

Lucas Cain, Northern Rockies project manager at the Trust for Public Land, said a longtime ranching family in Paradise Valley agreed to sell a 23-acre stretch of land just north of Emigrant to the group for the purpose of constructing a public trail.

The long, linear parcel follows an old railroad bed up toward the Grey Owl Fishing Access Site. The Burlington Northern Railroad Company abandoned the line in the early 1980s’, leaving the property in the hands of adjacent landowners, Cain said.

Before the project can move ahead, the Trust for Public Land has to secure the funds for the purchase, work through the required due diligence and acquire the property, all by the year’s end. At that point, staff can start to design the trail and its amenities.

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