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Bozeman's Story Mill Spur begins just north of a former railroad depot, passes under I-90 and over the East Gallatin River, and traverses residential neighborhoods for 1.7 miles.
About the Route
The northern endpoint of the Story Mill Spur lies at the edge of the East Gallatin Recreation Area, just south of the Bridger Creek Golf Course. From here, the trail meanders east through residential backyards and then south along Story Mill Rd.
The trail then heads west through bucolic fields and farmlands where it changes from an asphalt surface to a rougher crushed stone surface and over an old railroad trestle bridge before reaching its southern terminus at L St.
At its western endpoint, the Story Mill Spur connects to the Bozeman to Bridger Mountains Trail.
At the eastern end, the trail connects to the Front Street Connector.
The Story Mill Spur is part of the developing Great American Rail-Trail, a 3,700-mile route from Washington to Washington D.C.
The Story Mill Spur is named after Nelson Story, who, in the 1880s, built a flour mill near the East Gallatin River. As mayor of Bozeman, Story was instrumental in convincing the first railroad across Montana to route through Bozeman, because he wanted a spur to his flour mill so he could ship flour to markets in Minneapolis and Chicago. The short rail line was the Gallatin Valley's largest and most used industrial rail spur until the mill's decline in the 1960s.
When Bozeman was one of four cities in contention to be the state capital in 1892, Bozeman convinced the Northern Pacific to build a passenger depot that was more impressive than the usual wood frame building. A brick depot with Romanesque style details was built, then expanded in 1923 with Prairie Style deep roof eaves and inverted knee brackets. When rail passenger service was discontinued in the late 1970s, the depot was shuttered. The depot was used as a set in the 1992 movie A River Runs Through It.
There is no designated parking for this trail.
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