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Bike path planned for West Glacier

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:09:04 AM MDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 11:18:51 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

A new bike path to Glacier National Park could be built as soon as next year.

Organizers for the Gateway to Glacier Trail project are raising funds for a new trail connecting bicyclists to Glacier National Park.

"Next summer you and I can ride that trail to Glacier National Park,” said Alan Ruby, with the Gateway to Glacier Trail project.

The trail will run from Coram, 7 miles north to West Glacier.

Ruby has been working to make the path happen for years.

"Certainly I think the timing is right.  It may have, the concept may have started in the early '70s, but unfortunately the time wasn't right. But today, bicyclists are exploding,” Ruby said.

But costs are too. The group had to raise $1 million from private and public grants and donations. It boils down to over $100,000 a mile.

Bicyclists aren't the only ones who believe they would benefit from having the path, businesses do too.

Nicolas Lee owns Glacier Distilling Company in Coram. He believes he could get more business to his store from people biking by.

"I think having a bike path here would be a great opportunity here for people to kind of stay in the area and explore the area outside of a car and get them actually outdoors and moving," said Lee.

Ruby says the next part in the project is a connection from the Flathead River in Columbia Falls all the way up to West Glacier. By connecting these two areas, they could potentially connect other communities in the Flathead Valley with Glacier National Park.

"It couldn't happen fast enough.  I think just talking about it I can feel the enthusiasm growing," Ruby said.

For more information on the project you can visit www.gatewaytoglaciertrail.com.