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Advocates of a cross-country trail want to see a section built in Powell

Map of a proposed multiuse trail in Wyoming that would be part of a national trail.
Rails to Trails Conservancy
Rails to Trails Conservancy is proposing a Wyoming route for the Great American Rail-Trail.

A community-based organization says Northwest Wyoming could benefit from filling in a gap on America’s first cross-country trail.

The Great American Rail-Trail, which is a series of trails between Washington D.C. and Washington state, is more than halfway complete.

Powell Economic Partnership Executive Director Rebekah Burns says the proposed section of trail would run from Garland to Ralston through the city of Powell. She says it could help attract tourism dollars and workers to the area.

“A young workforce wants to see close, accessible outdoor recreation, so that they can do lunch loops, go after work, raise their young family, have safe pathways for their kids to go to school,” she said.

The Great American Rail-Trail proposes more than 500 miles of trails in Wyoming. So far fewer than 20 miles have been completed.

According to an economic impact report, statewide, the trail routes in Wyoming could generate $13.2 million annually in visitor spending and add 150 new jobs.

A petition to encourage local public officials to invest in the Powell section of the multi-use trail in Wyoming is currently being circulated.

Olivia Weitz is based at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. She covers Yellowstone National Park, wildlife, and arts and culture throughout the region. Olivia’s work has aired on NPR and member stations across the Mountain West. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom story workshop. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, cooking, and going to festivals that celebrate folk art and music.

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