If things go to plan, 2019 will see the competition and opening of the Greater Yellowstone Trail. Simply put, it's a 180-mile-loop bike and walking trail around Yellowstone National Park.

The plan is to connect existing smaller biking and hiking trails to create the larger route, which will pass through Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, three states, three national forests, two state parks and multiple municipal and county parks.

These existing trails, a mix of paved and gravel paths, make up 70 percent of the entirety of the Greater Yellowstone Trail. And much of these are built on repurposed railways.

According to Shoulders of Giants, "If completed on schedule, the trail would stretch uninterrupted from Jackson Hole to West Yellowstone in Montana by the end of 2019."

A map of the proposed route for the Greater Yellowstone Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Wyoming Pathways

Tim Young, the man heading the project, told Shoulders of Giants, "All of the communities along the entire Greater Yellowstone Trail are really excited about it. Individuals are facilitating their own sections and then supporting each other to try and complete this whole project."

The trail will also connect two of iconic cross-country bike routes in the TransAmerica U.S. Bicycle Route 76 and the Great Divide Bicycle Route. This is yet another feather in the cap for the growing popularity of bikepacking.

The trail will also provide plenty of camping options with designated campgrounds and undeveloped backcountry sites.

If you're clamoring for a big-time bikepacking trip, the Greater Yellowstone Trail might be the ticket in 2019.

One of the already existing trails that will become part of the Greater Yellowstone Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Wyoming Pathways

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