Last Friday, a memorandum of understanding was approved and signed between the city and the Northwest Nebraska Trails Association.
Brittany Helmbrecht, chair of the Northwest Nebraska Trails Association explained the City of Chadron approved an easement between the city and the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad, for the Northwest Nebraska Trails Association to build a trail in the right of way, which would connect the Cowboy Trail about four miles outside of Chadron into the downtown.
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The trail is also part of the Great American Rail Trail. Kevin Belanger, trail planner with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, explained this trial is a cross-country, multi-use trail connecting between Washington, D.C. and Washington State. It will be about 3,700 miles when complete, he noted, and is over 52 percent complete now. The project was launched in May.
Belanger further added there is plenty of excitement that the railroad is working in agreement with the city. “It’s a perfect public/private/non-profit partnership to benefit the city of Chadron and western Nebraska. We really see this as a rural economic development catalyst, “ which will provide additional recreational opportunity and give people a feeling that there’s more to do here.