WEST GLACIER, MONT. – In an ongoing effort to increase accessibility within Glacier National Park, park managers are pleased to announce that work is underway on an accessible trail project in the Many Glacier area during the park’s centennial. Many Glacier Valley is one of the most highly visited areas of the park, but it is presently lacking any accessible trails.
The section of trail that will be improved runs from the Many Glacier picnic area to the Swiftcurrent Creek bridge and is nearly a quarter-mile long. To meet accessibility standards this section of the trail will have at least a three-foot-wide hardened surface with a number of wider spots or turnouts, most of which will have seating available. These improvements are phase one of the project.
The work has been identified as a Legacy Project for Glacier’s centennial, supported by the Glacier National Park Fund (GNPF), which has raised more than $70,000 to help fund the cost of improving the trail. A wheelchair accessible trail will be constructed on an existing dirt foot-trail to give the path a hardened and accessible surface.
The trail improvements are being implemented through a collaborative effort, including volunteers with trail work experience from two organizations. On July 22 a group from the Glacier Mountaineering Society (GMS) began the project by widening the trail and laying gravel. From August 9 to 13, volunteers from the Montana Conservation Corp (MCC) will continue working on the project. Additional work to complete the trail, mainly an overlay to provide a hardened surface, will occur based on contract scheduling and weather conditions.
The Centennial Legacy Projects represent short-term goals identified through listening sessions and feedback from park visitors. As the park’s official fund-raiser partner, GNPF has undertaken fundraising campaigns for these projects as long-term “birthday gifts” to the park in addition to helping fund other programs and events for the centennial.
- NPS -