Welcome to Cut Bank Trails
Cut Bank is a town of 3,000 people located in North Central Montana. US Highway 2, also known as Main St., is the primary route to Glacier National Park and runs through the middle of town and is the primary route for travelers and pedestrians. With highway and truck traffic on Main Street, Cut Bank needs a designated, safe form of pedestrian and non-motorized recreation.
In early 2011, a group of concerned citizens organized to promote the concept of a recreational trail network in Cut Bank. The Cut Bank Trails Committee recognized that this trail will help promote Cut Bank as a better place to live, work, and visit. Examples of a few of the benefits from the Cut Bank Trails Development include-
*The trail will provide safe pedestrian and handicap access throughout town.
*This trail allows the opportunity to get out and be active locally.
*Local educators often plan class trips to trail systems over 100 miles away to explore local natural habitats because of the safety and accessibility of those trail systems. Three segments of our trail will take kids to our own local habitats that are currently inaccessible.
*It is our belief that a community with outdoor recreation is more marketable when recruiting and retaining quality community members, such as educators, medical professionals, etc.
*This trail is designed to boost the economy by making us appealing to outside markets. This trail will make Cut Bank a more marketable tourism destination, instead of the drive thru community that we currently are.
*Most importantly to the committee are the potential health benefits for the residents of Cut Bank. In early 2015, Glacier County was named the least healthy County in Montana of the 46 counties investigated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This statistic amplifies the need for accessible, low cost health and recreation facilities in Cut Bank and in Glacier County.
Since 2011, the Cut Bank Trails committee has been entirely made up of volunteers with no paid staff and has development 9 sub-committees within the Cut Bank Trails organization to ensure that each aspect of the trails system is completed accurately. The Cut Bank Trails committee is currently a division of the City of Cut Bank and is operating under the City of Cut Bank’s non-profit status. In 2011 the Committee started the efforts to raised $22,000 in private funds to develop a trail master plan. The feasibility study was successfully completed the summer of 2015.
To date the Cut Bank Trails committee has successfully applied for and received Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) funding for a trail/sidewalk segment on 2nd Ave., N.E to provide safe pedestrian access to school children attending Anna Jeffries School, applied for and received the last of locally appropriated Community Transportation Enhancement Program (CTEP) funding for $47,000 in work to further integrate Anna Jeffries School with the earlier MDT project and the SRS project. This work will be completed Fall of 2015. In June of 2015, the Committee successfully applied for and received a $25,000 grant from State Farm Insurance Neighborhood Assist program for the first phase of the “Coulee Trail”.