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Gallatin Valley Land Trust's 'Raptor Route' to make Bozeman trails safer from west side to the M

Posted at 3:26 PM, Apr 11, 2024

BOZEMAN — The Gallatin Valley Land Trust is constructing the Raptor Route, a new walking trail that will allow residents to walk from one side of Bozeman to the other.

“A neighbor recommended this trail,” said Jordan, a pedestrian on the route walking her dog with her friend Cameron.

“With a dog, we’re on them all the time, especially with his energy level. He’s got a lot of it,” said Cameron.

Cameron and Jordan are out on their routine walk in Bozeman with their dog Koda.

They enjoy the views of Bozeman around them when they walk the trail.

“As the weather warms up it’s pretty,” said Cameron.

But, Cameron and Jordan admit, their walks can become dangerous when they have to cross a section of Durston Road that does not have a crosswalk.

That’s why Gallatin Valley Land Trust Trails Director Matt Parsons says they’re launching a new project that will connect trails to create the Raptor Route.

“It reaches from the Gallatin River on the west side near Four Corners all the way to the M Trailhead,” said Parsons.

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In newer areas of Bozeman, Parsons says, pathways take users through beautiful areas of the city, but sometimes they lead to busy streets with no crosswalks, bike lanes, or even dead ends.

“A lot of our trails didn’t connect in that way, so we’ve had to work hard,” said Parsons.

The new construction on the Raptor Route will work to solve this problem, starting with safety crossings on Durston Road.

“They will create a safer environment for folks to interact with the city,” Parsons said.

But the work is far from over. Once complete, the route will connect the farthest west subdivision, The Lakes, east to the M and Drinking Horse Trails.

“We hope to be building the next Raptor Route in the years to come,” Parsons said.

“I think that’s great—it can lead to a longer walk and a safer journey along the way,” said Cameron when asked about the new construction coming to the trail.