Whether you prefer to travel by two feet or two wheels (or three), whether you live in the wilds of the Idaho Panhandle or in suburban Georgia, one of the things that we all seem to love about trails is that they connect us to America's great outdoors. They get us "out there," and allow us to experience the wonders of our country's natural places in a way that is invigorating, inspiring and in-your-face beautiful.
Right now the National Park Service is considering a proposal for thecompletion of trail loop in a section of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming known as the Moose-Wilson Road corridor. We believe this project would demonstrate the great value of nonmotorized trail access, and complete trail loops, in America's national parks, and pave the way for trail systems in parks elsewhere.
The National Park Service is currently studying whether to support the completion of the trail loop, and will be accepting public comments through Feb. 6.
Wyoming Pathways and Friends of Pathways are working to encourage public comments in support of a complete trail system along the corridor, which would connect to existing trails in the area and create a stunning 30-mile pathway loop connecting Jackson, Wilson, Teton Village, and the park headquarters in Moose. There is currently a three-mile gap in the proposed plan. We need your voice to urge the park's managers to make nonmotorized, low-impact access to the park a priority and close this gap.
I urge everyone who believes that trails are an important part of this country's landscape to take a few moments to submit your comments. This could set a strong precedent for the way that biking and hiking trail access is considered in National Park Service comprehensive plans, and ultimately trail development in and to national parks all over the country.
More immediately, completing this spectacular trail loop would provide a great way for more Americans to visit the park in a way that is safe, good for the environment, and healthy. Creating a wonderful trail system in the Grand Teton National Park will prove that it can be done well in many other national parks, too.
Our friends at Wyoming Pathways and Friends of Pathways have made it easy for you to submit comments to the National Parks Service through a great new web page, which has plenty of info about the proposal. Here's what I wrote in support of the trail completion -feel free to use this as the basis of your own submission.
"I support a complete pathway along the Moose-Wilson Road corridor. The slow, rural, country-road character of the existing road should be preserved while providing safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians with a complete pathway. A 3.5-mile gap within a larger 30-mile loop would be dangerous for children, families, visitors, and residents who are biking or walking. Please consider public safety and add a complete pathway from the Granite Entrance to Moose. Please provide safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians with a complete pathway from the Granite Entrance to Moose, and connecting to the wonderful and successful Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Community pathway systems."
I hope you can help our partners in Wyoming as they advocate for a great trail network that will benefit us all.