Summer is certainly the busiest time for Platte River Trails Trust (PRTT) and the Casper trail system. While Casperites have long known what a jewel our trail system is, last month, the Rails to Trails Conservancy named the Platte River Trail the June 2019 “Trail of the Month!” in their quarterly magazine.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization, which works to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. The Platte River Trail and the Casper Rail Trail are both part of the Great American Rail Trail; a 3,700-mile route that runs from Washington D.C. to Washington State. The article, while certainly focusing on the trails, also highlights a lot of the other recreational opportunities that make Casper a great place to live and visit.
As documented in the publication, our trails have a deep connection to Casper’s history and the river that winds through it. Much of the system follows right along the river, marrying these two great assets. Beginning in West Casper at Paradise Valley Park, the trail continues northeast through Morad, Amoco Park, and Crossroads Parks, to Bryan Stock Trail at the North Casper Sports Complex. Throughout the 10 miles of trail, users can enjoy all kinds of natural and urban scenery, as well as opportunities to meditate and connect at the Bart Rea Learning Circle or utilize a number of fitness stations along the trails. Don’t worry—we have trail maps available to help you find your way!
Despite the current beauty and functionality of our trails, PRTT, trail advocates, and partners have plans for future improvements, including an extension of the River Trail from Paradise Valley to Robertson Road via a new bridge over the North Platte River as well as connecting downtown to both the Platte River Trail and the Casper Rail Trail. With Casper City Council’s recent approval for PRTT to utilize $1.5 million in One-Cent Tax funds, the future is only going to get brighter for our Casper trails!
Learn more of what PRTT staff, board, partners and trails users had to say about being featured as the June 2019 “Trail of the Month” in the complete Rails to Trails article.
Very few people can say they have been with the same organization for 20 years but Angela Emery sure can. June 1st marks Angela’s 20th year as the Executive Director of the Platte River Trails Trust (PRTT) and if you’ve ever had the chance to visit with her about what she does, it’s clear she still has the same enthusiasm and drive that brought her to PRTT in the first place.
Since taking the lead in June of 1999, Angela has directed PRTT’s conservation and trail development efforts along the North Platte River. PRTT’s official mission is to develop a river pathway while preserving the scenic, natural and historic value of the North Platte River, and to assist with the development of a network of trails that contribute to our community’s non-motorized transportation options, economic vitality and quality of life.
While the citizen-lead organization has constructed over 10 miles of river trail, a Trails Center, 3 miles of rail trail, new trails on Casper Mountain Road and Robertson Road and spearheaded clean-up, preservation and development of the North Platte River, one of the accomplishments Angela is most proud of is working daily with an amazing volunteer Board and dedicated City staff to expand and enhance the community trail network.
“The work our organization has done to expand our trails, host events and offer classes to our community along the trail has really helped to bring people down to the river and make it what it is today—gorgeous, free flowing and accessible,” says Angela.
The mission of PRTT isn’t just a professional passion of Angela’s, it’s a personal one too. As an avid runner, she and her family, including her two standard poodles, Chloe and Isabelle, are frequent trail users. She believes whole-heartedly in promoting the importance of the North Platte River and providing a safe, accessible trail system throughout Casper for all to enjoy.
In a recent interview with Rails to Trails magazine, Angela was asked, ‘As the Casper trail system continues to grow, what are your hopes for its future?’ When describing their plans to connect the Casper Rail Trail and the Platte River Trail to neighborhoods, she stated, “my hope is that we’ll continue expanding. There’s no limit to what we can do to make walking, biking and being out in nature safe and accessible for all.” With an attitude like that, there’s no doubt that with Angela leading the charge, great things are ahead for PRTT.