North Dakota Parks & Recreation highlights Northern Cass Pass Project

The Northern Cass Pass Trails Project is being recognized as the North Dakota Parks & Recreation's Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Project of the Month. The RTP is an 80/20 grant matching grant program that provides funding for recreational trail projects in North Dakota. These projects can receive up to $200,000 to complete new trails, restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, and more. The Northern Cass Pass Project received this grant to turn an abondoned railway into a non-motorized trail.

The project consisted of converting the existing ballast into a hard surface, retrofitting three existing railroad timber bridges to make them safe for pedestrian traffic, constructing three trailheads, creating a corridor-long arboretum with native North Dakota tree plantings, and adding pedestrian friendly appurtenances. The construction of the sustainable trail provides recreational opportunities for locals and visitors to the area; protection of existing wildlife habitats and natural resources; access to private and public lands for sportsmen; improvement of water quality, soil conditions, plant diversity and animal systems; and conserves the natural areas by protecting the established former railway right-of-way.

In the end, the six-mile project conserved the natural recreation and environmental corridor that had been established over the past 100 years. The Northern Cass Pass provides safe and friendly non-motorized travel between the two communities.

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