8-Mile-Long Multi-use Path Opens in Grand Teton National Park On Saturday

New trail in Grand Teton National Park will offer spectacular views of the Tetons. NPS photo.

Memorial Day Weekend visitors to Grand Teton National Park will be the first to try out an 8-mile-long multi-use pathway that runs along the Teton Park Road from Moose to South Jenny Lake.

Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says the pathway will open for public use on Saturday as an alternate recreational route between the Moose area and South Jenny Lake.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the pathway took place on May 17, 2008, and construction work began shortly after. HK Contractors, Inc. of Idaho Falls, the project’s construction company, worked steadily throughout the summer and fall of 2008, concluding the majority of pathway construction several months ahead of a fall 2009 projected completion date.

As the new multi-use pathway begins its first year of operation, visitors and local residents will have a unique opportunity to enjoy an area of the park not previously used in such a concentrated way. To help different types of users safely enjoy the pathway—and avoid disturbing wildlife— bicyclists, hikers, inline skaters and other users will be encouraged to follow some basic rules of courtesy and safety:

* Respect the rights of others

* Ride single file and stay on the right side of the pathway

* Observe bicycle speeds that are reasonable to the numbers and safety of other users

* Use a bell, whistle or voice whenever passing others

* Wear appropriate protective equipment such as helmets and pads

* Don’t use motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs and other mobility impaired devices)

* Be bear aware and maintain a safe distance from all wildlife

* Obey the sunset to sunrise closure for protection of park wildlife.

Because this new pathway bisects an important wildlife corridor not previously occupied by people on foot or on a bike, users will need to follow regulations designed to prevent adverse impacts to wild animals. For example, pets are not allowed on the multi-use pathway in Grand Teton to reduce potential negative impacts to wildlife from the presence of domestic pets.

In addition, baseline studies were conducted, and monitoring will continue, to assess the impacts that the pathway and its users may have on wildlife and their activities and movements. These studies will be used in the planning of future pathway segments.

“It is my sincere hope that the creation of this new pathway in Grand Teton offers visitors a safe alternative to explore one of the most stunning landscapes on earth," says Superintendent Gibson. "Through the pathway, along with our established hiking trails and new visitor centers, we have set the stage for people to make a personal connection to the natural world and become more conservation-minded—engaged in helping to care for the land, our incomparable wildlife, and our common heritage. We must keep in mind that all of us are stewards of this special place, for now and future generations.”

Comments

Sounds like a paved pathway. I doubt that it will be a popular bike trail at only 8 miles. More like better for wheechairs so disabled will have a chance to see more of the natural beauty of the place. Off course they also may be predator food.
If large numbers use the pathway that is unlikely and the wildlife coridoor will change to nocturnal or another place.

I wonder at the trade off of expense versus value and why a 8 mile trail takes two years but that is moot now that it is completed.

@RAH, rode the path last weekend (opening) and the path is actually GREAT! Roads in the park are narrow, poor shoulders, and overloaded with RV's. They were a lousy place for bikes. The path parallels the road, and is great to separate bikes from the cars. It is not a wheelchair path in any way. It is a great use of our parks to provide increased access for non-motorized visitors.

Rode the path today and it was fantastic. Sure it might be short for hard core riders but for riders who'd like to ride through the magnificent Grand Teton National Park and enjoy the spectacular scenery, it's an incredible experience. The path was created for all sorts of riders--today I saw families, older riders, a pack of guys flying by, a group of five young women riding together--everyone was smiling. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Anyone coming to Jackson should try this path. It's a real gift from our parks.

If you people like the trail, Great!. Myself I would ride that trail since I am not into hard and vigorous bike riding. I was thinking about the hardcore bikers who like to mountain bike would not like the trail. This is a case of NPS multiuse for more recreational use. Considering in the future that all gov't agencies have to belt tightening, any funds the NPS gets ought to be devoted not to new projects but maintanence and programs.

I am sure this project was done when funds were flush so I so not disparage the choice to make this path.

As an avid bicyclist and long time visitor to the park, I heartily welcome this addition. The park and environs offers plenty of additional options for hard core road and mountain bike fans. To me, a 16 mile round trip through the most beautiful spot on the planet sounds divine. I plan to be there as soon as possible.

To those that planned and built this: Thank You!!!

I've been riding the trail from Windy Point pullout to Bradley-Taggart parking lot and back for a week now. I love it! I ride a trike, slowly (I'm 70) and wear bright colors. I would ride farther but the trail still is snow-covered a bit north of the B/T lot. The Park swept the winter gravel off the trail last week. It's a great ride - thank you to the Park and poo-poo on the folks (like rah above) who sneer at it. (coyote poo-poo, of course, no dogs allowed!)