Improved Parking Facilities and Amenities for Horse Riders with Disabilities at Walton

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Dear Friends:

We have a proposal to 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. Comments can be provided directly through our website for this project: Or write to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: Walton Parking Improvements EA, West Glacier, Montana 59936. Comments are due by September 23, 2005. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent’s identity as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment.

However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.
Thank you very much for your continued support and interest in Glacier National Park.


Michael O. Holm