To the chagrin of many cyclists, the Highway 89 pathway north of town along the National Elk Refuge is closed until April 30.
The closure is part of the deal Teton County arranged with the refuge to build the pathway in 2011. Despite a recent plea by cycling advocate Tim Young to open the path early, the refuge is sticking to the specified dates.
The path offers a velvety-smooth ride 10 miles to Moose and another 8 miles to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Only the portion along the refuge, between Jackson and Gros Ventre Junction, is closed from Oct. 1 to April 30 each year; the park sections presumably are rideable when free of snow.
Although it may seem aggravating and bureaucracy at its worst, there is a rationale behind the closure. To better explain it, county pathways coordinator Brian Schilling provided the following list of frequently asked questions. The bottom line: Be patient, people, and let the refuge finish studying impacts.