The Fremont County Trails Partnership completed its first project at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreation management area Johnny Behind the Rocks in October. The new family-friendly, multiple-use beginner trail, Flowin’ Johnny, boosts outdoor recreation opportunities for mountain bikers and other non-motorized recreationists.
The Fremont County Trails Partnership is organized under a BLM cooperative agreement with Wyoming Pathways to leverage shared resources and interest to implement trail-based planning decisions across BLM-managed public lands within Fremont County.
“During our planning processes for Johnny Behind the Rocks, we heard loud and clear that a trail built for beginners was desperately needed within the Lander area,” said Jared Oakleaf, BLM outdoor recreation planner. “This one fits the bill.”
Through the partnership, Wyoming Pathways and Lander Cycling Club contributed labor and funding to hire Singletrack Trails to construct the west leg of the Flowin’ Johnny Trail.
“Our monetary contribution was made possible by generous grants and donations from the Lander District Recreation Board, Joe McGowan Memorial Fund, Lander Community Foundation and all our supporters,” said Scott Van Orman of Lander Cycling.
“The Wyoming Pathways mission includes partnering with communities to help complete local trail projects like Flowin’ Johnny,” said Tim Young, executive director of Wyoming Pathways. “Wyoming can realize many significant benefits from these close-to-home trail systems, including economic, quality of life and improved public health.”
Oakleaf credits community and partner involvement for the momentum of the trail-building effort. “It is inspiring when partners are willing to make this kind of contribution to the stewardship of their public lands,” he said.
The BLM Master Trails Plan authorizes a future network with more trails and with the goal of providing diverse trail experiences for all non-motorized users. The west leg of the Flowin’ Johnny Trail was authorized for construction in 2019 through a planning process that included substantial public input and analysis. Planning for the east leg of the loop is ongoing and it is likely that construction will start sometime in 2021.