This project is being administered Federal Highway Administration Western Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA), in partnership with the City of Bozeman, United States Forest Service-Gallatin National Forest (USFS), and the Montana Department of Transportation. The project includes constructing a bicycle-pedestrian path along Montana Highway 86 (Bridger Canyon Road) from Story Mill Road in northeast Bozeman to the "M" parking lot. The project includes a new approximately 2 mile long path, a 95’ bridge over Bridger Creek, and a bicycle-pedestrian crossing under the highway to provide connectivity between the "M" parking lot and Drinking Horse Mountain trailheads.
The new trail will generally follow the existing path on the south side of MT 86 through the Headlands Subdivision. East of the subdivision, the path will cross Bridger Canyon Road and use portions of the existing path through the Creekwood Subdivision. East of the Creekwood Subdivision, the path will remain on the north side of Bridger Canyon Drive, cross Bridger Creek via a new bridge, and continue to the "M" parking lot. Near the east end of the project, an underpass will be constructed to provide a connection between the "M" parking lot and Drinking Horse Mountain Trailhead.
Bozeman's "Main Street to the Mountains" trail system includes over 60 miles of greenway trails linking parks and neighborhoods throughout the community. This existing trail system crosses MT 86 at Story Mill Road, the starting point of this project. The project will provide a link between the existing trail system and the highest-use trailhead in the Gallatin National Forest at the "M" parking lot.
Currently, bicyclists and pedestrians use MT 86 to access the trailheads and the "M" parking lot. As a result, pedestrians typically travel the short distance between Bozeman and the "M" parking lot by car. Overflow from the parking lot uses the shoulders of MT 86, further constricting the already congested area. The designed trail will help alleviate some of the overflow and congestion by providing an alternative route for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the "M" and associated trails