Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board, North Dakota
After acquiring an old BNSF Railway bed through the Rails to Trails program, the Hunter/Arthur JPA Park Board was looking to transform it into a non-motorized alternative for pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians.
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.