A Coast To Coast Walking/Biking Trail Will Run Right Through Wyoming
Today, hiking or biking across the USA is a dangerous endeavor on some interstates and many old back highways.
But what if you could hike or bike cross-country on an established system of trails?
Most of these trails already exist. They just need to be connected. That is, after all, how the first coast-to-coast highway was built. The Lincoln Highway went right through Wyoming.
The project being proposed would involve more than 3,700 miles between Washington and Washington.
Wyoming trails have the potential to host an incredible stretch of the Great American Rail-Trail route.
Much of what is being proposed is right along old routes used by settlers as they moved their wagon trains across a cotenant. Though, those settlers wish they had today's rail and trail system.
Some important connections in Wyoming include Casper Rail Trail, Al’s Way in Glenrock, and the Platte River
Wyoming topography does present a challenge for trail builders.
Wyoming has recently made a statewide commitment to trails and active transportation that supports the completion of the Great American route.
FROM RAILS TO TRAILS MAGAZINE’S SPRING/SUMMER 2019 ISSUE
The Platte River Trail and Pony Express
In its earliest years, Casper, Wyoming, served as a convergence of four heavily traveled westbound trails. The California, Mormon, Oregon and Pony Express Trails all passed through this corridor, and that pioneer history abounds along Casper’s Platte River Trail. The 10-mile trail hugs the North Platte River and runs past the Fort Caspar Museum, a re-creation of the Army fort first founded in 1859 as a toll bridge and trading post along the Oregon Trail.
Traveling northeast on the parkway takes trail users through city parks and recreation areas and near the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. There, you can climb inside a replica Conestoga wagon and take a simulated ride across the North Platte that aims to illustrate the challenges settlers faced crossing rivers and rocky terrain on the way to a new life. Read about more historical connections along the Great American Rail-Trail here.
The “Great American” Route Through Wyoming
RTC’s route analysis defines the preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail through Wyoming as 509 miles. While only 17 miles of the route are complete, the state’s 2017 report on active transportation—including trails—recommended a minimum investment of $10 million annually. Citing the Great American Rail-Trail, the report offers optimism for the trail’s future development in the state. Click the links below to view full trail descriptions of Wyoming’s host trails on TrailLink.com.
Casper Rail Trail
Spanning 6 miles, the Casper Rail Trail is an important connector in one of the largest cities in Wyoming.
Great American Rail-Trail Gap #63: Glenrock to Evansville
A task force is working on a bike route from Glenrock to Evansville. This might be made right alongside
RTC will provide technical and planning assistance to Platte River Trails, Wyoming Pathways, and Wyoming State Parks to determine ownership of the former rail line; engage with property owners and stakeholders; determine who will own and maintain the trail after completion; implement cost estimation; complete a feasibility study; pursue public funding; and provide design, engineering and construction assistance.
Learn more about the vision of the Great American Rail-Trail.