MISSOULA – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the Bitterroot Trail Wednesday morning to celebrate its long-awaited completion.
The nearly half-mile section of trail — called the Golden Spike — runs alongside the railroad from Livingston Avenue to South Avenue in Missoula. Golden Spike is a reference to rail-fastening spikes used to commemorate the completion of a length of railway.
Montana Rail Link was instrumental in opening this link through a donation to the city of Missoula and now, the 50-mile trail is open from north Missoula to Hamilton,
“It is a wonderful non-motorized connection for people commuting, recreating, and just getting around the neighborhood, so we’re very excited to have this happen," says Missoula Bike and Pedestrian Program Manager Ben Weiss.
“It’s interesting. You look at the business aspects of things, but then when you get to an event like this and see these young kids and two helping cut the ribbon — and all the bikers," Montana Rail Link President, Ton Walsh said.
Weiss led a young group of bikers on an inaugural ride along the newly opened stretch of the Bitterroot Trail on Wednesday.
In addition to the trail, a railroad-themed park and playground will be completed and ready to go this fall.