Major Milestone Achieved: Yellowstone Heritage Trail Project Moves Forward with Key Land Acquisition

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is thrilled to announce the acquisition and donation of a pivotal three-mile stretch of land in Emigrant, MT, to Park County, marking a significant step in the development of the Yellowstone Heritage Trail. This strategic land purchase and donation continues the progress towards the collective vision of TPL and Park County to create Emigrant’s first park and trail, and ultimately looking to connect Gardiner to Livingston.

This three-mile segment will serve as the foundation for the Yellowstone Heritage Trail, an ambitious project that aims to establish a 56-mile trail linking Gardiner to Livingston. This trail is a crucial segment of the Great American Rail-Trail®, an extraordinary initiative by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), which aspires to connect Washington, D.C., to Washington state over 3,700 miles of continuous trail.

“The Yellowstone Heritage Trail will greatly enhance the health and well-being of Park County residents by focusing on safety and accessibility in conjunction with outdoor recreation. This trail will not only promote physical activity but also strengthen community bonds and improve mental well-being. We deeply appreciate the collaboration with our dedicated landowner partners and the Trust for Public Land, whose unwavering support has turned this vision into reality,” said Kristen Galbraith, Park County Grants and Special Projects Director.

Transforming this abandoned rail line into a vibrant community trail offers the residents of Emigrant a much-needed recreational space. Currently lacking formal trails and pedestrian sidewalks, the community stands to gain immense benefits from this project.

“Despite being in the backyard of some of the most iconic outdoor spaces in the world, residents of communities like Emigrant often lack safe close-to-home recreation options,” said Lucas Cain, Project Manager for Trust for Public Land’s Northern Rockies Program. “Great trails make great communities, and creating a safe and accessible route with the Yellowstone Heritage Trail will not only provide connectivity for people but will bolster the local economy through new jobs and expanded tourism opportunities, as well as increased health benefits from access to nature.”

While the recent acquisition and donation represent significant milestones, the journey is far from over. Continued collaboration, fundraising, and community support are crucial to achieving the ambitious goals of connecting Gardiner to Livingston and establishing Emigrant’s first park and trail.

As we celebrate this progress and gear up for the next phases of design and buildout, TPL is excited to co-host an outdoor concert with IN A LANDSCAPE on July 22nd at the iconic Roosevelt Arch in Yellowstone National Park, Gardiner. This event invites guests to immerse themselves in the surrounding natural beauty while enjoying live classical music through wireless headphones. Learn more about the event here.

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,420 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $94 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.7 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit


IN A LANDSCAPE is an innovative outdoor concert series that celebrates the intersection of music and nature. Set amidst stunning landscapes, these performances offer audiences a unique sensory experience, inviting them to immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings while indulging in world-class music. For more information, please visit

For more details or to support the Yellowstone Heritage Trail project, please contact Sam McSherry, Northern Rockies Region, Project Manager, at