Photo by Louise Johns

GVLT and Gallatin County Partner on Triangle Trail Plan

July 20, 2020

30 years ago, GVLT embarked on an ambitious vision to connect Main Street to the Mountains. Since then, we partnered with the City of Bozeman to create a connected trail system to move our community safely to work, school, and parks. Together, we created greenways and commuter routes, safe routes to school and dog parks. While we achieved great success within Bozeman, our community’s rapid growth is reaching beyond the city limits, developing west and north toward the neighboring communities of Belgrade and Four Corners.

30 years have taught us that great trail systems don’t happen by accident. Great trail systems require an inspiring vision, thoughtful planning, community input and a collaborative spirit. Access to trails and the outdoors is consistently listed as a priority for Gallatin Valley residents. Everyone in our growing community deserves the benefits our trails provide.

During our involvement with the Planning Coordinating Committee – a collaborative group of leaders from Belgrade, Bozeman and Gallatin County – GVLT identified opportunities to expand the vision for a connected trail system into the ‘Triangle’ area. The Triangle is a rapidly developing area that will become more residential and link the three communities, but has no active guide or requirement for trail development. Without a guide, trails develop in fragments that are challenging, costly or virtually impossible to connect in the future.  Now is the time to prevent a fragmented system and create a vision for a trail system. GVLT is proud to announce a collaborative effort with Gallatin County to create a Triangle Area Trail Plan.

Imagine, the year is 2040 and development has continued at breakneck pace. How do we want people to move through our community? Where do people want to play? How are kids getting to school? What outdoor spaces bring our community together west of town?  With the help of our partners at Gallatin County, and engaged leaders from Belgrade, Bozeman, and Four Corners, we hope to create an inspiring and thoughtful 20-year vision for the non-motorized pedestrian and bicycle recreation and transportation infrastructure in the Triangle Area. The plan will serve as an extension of the City of Bozeman Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Plan, and Belgrade’s newly adopted Parks and Trails Master Plan.

We’re excited to work with our friends at Sanderson Stewart who will lead this public process. They will start this summer by studying the existing trails, pathways and public spaces in the Triangle Area. This fall, we will look for input from the community to help determine the future of trails and connectivity in the area. It is our hope that the outcome of this plan is a shared vision and a commitment to implement strategies that guide us as the area develops. Homeowners, landowners, and developers will benefit from a clear and predictable vision for trail, pathway, and linear park system.

Thank you to our partners at Gallatin County for sharing the cost of this plan and thinking ahead about the future needs of our community. Stay tuned for the release of a website where you can share your ideas and input later this fall.