EA - Improved Parking Facilities and Amenities for Horse Riders with Disabilities

Improve parking conditions and construct an accessible ramp for horse riders with disabilities at Walton. Currently, there is very limited space for trail users at the Walton area of Glacier National Park (GNP) to park and maneuver their vehicles, especially horse trailers. Consequently, the majority of visitors use the shoulder of U.S. Highway 2 for unloading and parking resulting in unsafe conditions for visitors and their vehicles, as well as compacted soil and trampled vegetation in these areas. In addition, there are only three parking spaces for day and overnight hikers resulting in many of them parking in picnic area sites, displacing those coming to picnic. Presently, there are no ramps in the park for horse riders with disabilities to mount and dismount from their stock.
The Preferred Alternative would formalize parking for trucks and horse trailers, provide a wooden ramp for horse riders with disabilities to mount their horses and a hitching rail, construct a new trail from the new parking area to the Ole Creek Trailhead, and provide additional parking spaces for day and overnight backcountry hikers. It would also provide a more visible visitor information board, a comfort station, a designated horse-feeding area, and a bear-proof garbage container. The new parking area would be constructed in a previously disturbed corridor, the old alignment of U.S. Highway 2. The resources potentially impacted by this project, and analyzed in the EA, are: vegetation, historic buildings and structures, visitor experience, and public health and safety.
Comment Period: Closed        Aug 17, 2005 - Sep 23, 2005
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